Water management is not only an essential necessity in many regions of the world – If it's done right, it also translates directly into efficient energy management... We talked with Dr Narasimha M Rao, Vice President, RD&E and Automation, of Global Water F&B and Textile Care, Ecolab on water conservation methods and energy saving strategies...
PROCESS: What are the current technological trends that you have observed in water conservation at industrial plants in India?
DR NARASIMHA M RAO: Most industrial plants in India are focused on water conservation through some combination of water reuse and recycle, with some going for Zero Liquid Discharge. In India, water conservation is not just an issue of sustainability, but rather it is a necessity driven by the availability of goodquality water and competition with other consumers of water, namely, agriculture and human consumption.
Of course, most of our customers, domestic as well as multi-national, are also interested in sustainable development and want to be good corporate citizens by conserving water.
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PROCESS: Please take us through the opportunities for water management with respect to India?
DR RAO: I see a lot of opportunities for water reuse and recycle in industrial plants. For example, municipal waste water is often used as cooling tower make-up water in industrial plants in India. Plant effluents recycle is another common practice. When customers recycle water or are forced to use water of an impaired quality, the treatment needs of this water are often significantly elevated, compared to fresh water, and the key is to match the treatment parameters with the recycle scenario.
For example, the use of municipal wastewater for cooling towers results in the use of water with high amounts of chloride, ammonia, sulphate, and phosphate, and if this water is not treated properly, it will result in issues like high general and localized corrosion of steel, stress corrosion cracking of admiralty brass, and bacterial growth.
Variability in water quality also becomes a concern and, automation and sensors can help design solutions that measure variability and respond in real time. The need, therefore, is to design intelligent solutions consisting of the right combination of advanced chemistry, equipment, and automation solutions that can handle the high stresses and variability and deploy these with outstanding onsite support.
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