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  • Dear Readers!

    If you look back at the editorial in the last issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL, then you’ll find that the comments made there were almost prophetic. Just one of the topics it mentioned was the droughts in 2018, predicting that we could expect much of the same this year. Here we are, just a few months on, and this prediction has come true. Having analysed empirical evidence and ice cores, the overwhelming majority of climatologists agree that these weather conditions have been caused by industrialised humans – and that they can only be put right by humans. The question here, of course, is how. Most people are focusing on cars, energy generated by fossil fuels and, of course, air travel. Everyone is talking about the electrification of vehicles. You just need to consider the physical facts, however, to realise this will not be easy to implement. Germany’s national grid, for example, would be unable to supply the power needed if all vehicle owners tried to recharge their car batteries at the same time. The question must, therefore, be asked whether electromobility is the right solution. The move towards the electrification of vehicles is well underway though, as is the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Scientists, however, are predicting that these measures will not be enough on their own. We have another good idea here and one that is practicable – as can be seen by REMONDIS’ daily work. Namely, making the most of the potential of recycling to curb climate change, preferably on a global scale. If humans were to succeed in systematically recovering raw materials and returning them to production cycles and if they were to stop sending waste to landfill (so methane is not produced there), then this would be the third most effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Germany made this move back in 2005 when it passed the ‘TASi’ [Technical Directive on the Recycling, Treatment and Disposal of Municipal Waste]. It is high time that a European TASi is drawn up or – even better – a global TASi. We are systematically implementing this law at REMONDIS every single day.

    Looking at the international stage, Russia is intensifying its efforts to reduce the amount of waste it takes to landfill by creating a well-functioning circular economy. The Russian government has launched an initiative that has made it obliga- tory for all 80 Russian regions to appoint a general operator to modernise their regional waste management sector and set up more recycling systems. For many years now, REMONDIS has been running just such a system in Saransk, the capital city of the Russian Republic of Mordovia and – according to a 2010 survey – one of the best cities to live in in Russia. The city is, therefore, acting as a role model, showing the direction that the Russian waste management sector could move in in the future.

    A number of our new apprentices joined the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement when they were at school, calling for more to be done to stop climate change. And so it was a logical decision for them to do their apprenticeship at REMONDIS where they can carve out a sustainable career for themselves, “Every Day for Future” so to speak. REMONDIS’ systematic recycling operations ensure waste is transformed into raw materials, energy and heat and play a considerable role in conserving natural resources and tackling climate change. Welcome to the climate professionals.

    Max Köttgen

Access to this valuable raw material is limited

  • Water is not a resource that can be taken for granted in India. On the contrary, the volumes of water available to manufacturers are extremely limited. Which is why many are pinning their hopes on a new system that is currently being introduced: the so-called zero liquid discharge concept or ZLD that creates a wastewater-free production cycle. With REMONDIS Aqua offering this system to its customers, it is already proving to be a success in India.

The solution: a closed-cycle system

  • Many businesses in India have major problems accessing water in the dry months before the monsoon season – a problem that often leads to outages. A number of ideas have been suggested to improve water management in production plants and one in particular is spearheading the way: the ZLD system. This involves an independent, closed-loop water cycle that manages the use and treatment of the water so that it can be recycled on site at the plant. The ZLD solution enables the production water to be processed and recycled after it has been used so that it can once again be returned and reused as treated process water. Many industrial firms in India have helped ensure their business remains competitive over the long term by having the ZLD system installed at their plants.

REMONDIS Aqua is sharing its know-how

Being an expert in wastewater treatment and drinking water supply, REMONDIS Aqua realised early on that there was a need for ZLD in this region. It has already launched a comprehensive range of services related to this system over the last three years – and this despite the fact that ZLD technology is extremely complex both to design and run. REMONDIS Aqua is one of just a handful of companies with the necessary expertise and many Indian businesses and international firms based in India have already benefited from its knowledge. The company has now become one of the leading providers of ZLD technology applications. Besides helping to secure the future of industrial firms in India, the system also has a positive impact on the environment. Thomas Block, managing director of REMONDIS Aqua India Pvt. Ltd., explained: “The volume of raw water captured by the ZLD systems – so it can be reused as process and production water – helps stabilise the whole of the Indian water supply network.” What’s more, the installation of ZLD technology helps grow the local economy and strengthens REMONDIS’ position on the Indian market, he continued.

“The volume of raw water captured by the ZLD systems – so it can be reused as process and production water – helps stabilise the whole of the Indian water supply network.”

Thomas Block, Managing Director, REMONDIS Aqua India Pvt. Ltd.

Polyplastics project

REMONDIS Aqua successfully realised its first ZLD project at Polyplastics’ plant in Bhiwadi in 2016. This firm, which manufactures plastic parts for the automobile industry, had REMONDIS plan, build, commission and run a ZLD system at the site. The technology has been up and running since 2017 and is able to recycle a total of 200m³ of wastewater generated by the surface treatment facility every day. The wastewater, which also contains heavy metals such as chromium, zinc and nickel, first undergoes a chemical-physical pre-treatment stage before being cleaned using ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis (RO) technology and sludge treatment. A further ZLD facility is currently being set up at Polyplastics’ new site in Viramgam, which is also being built – and will be run – by REMONDIS.

Evonik project

A ZLD facility is also in the process of being built for the chemicals company Evonik at its plant in Dombivli. Besides planning, building, commissioning and operating the facility, REMONDIS Aqua’s services for this particular project also include financing the ZLD system. All in all, this facility, which will be able to recycle around 600m³ of wastewater a day, will comprise a chemical-physical pre-treatment stage, ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis technology as well as a multi-effect evaporation (MEE) system.

Givaudan project

  • In 2018, REMONDIS built its first fully automated ZLD facility for the flavours and fragrances company Givaudan. This system has a throughput of 110m³ per day. Unlike the other facilities, the production wastewater undergoes a biological rather than a chemical pre-treatment phase. Following this, though, it is also recycled using ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis technology and a multi-effect evaporation system so it can be reused in the production process.

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