Brewery, Beverage, Food Processors and Manufacturers
Common challenges facing many beverage and food manufacturers — such as breweries, bottling companies, fish and meat processing plants — are large, costly amounts of wastewater, sludge ponds and noxious odors. RGP’s anaerobic systems are designed to provide contained, rapid solutions that are easily expandable and adaptable to volume and content of effluent. Results include clean water for re-use, clean ponds to comply with regional environmental requirements, as well as harvested methane that can be cleanly burned as a power source, offsetting energy requirements procured from local utility grids or other costly sources. RGP solutions are designed to fully complement a brewery’s operations without any disruptions.
Dairies, Livestock Farms and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
CAFOs often house millions of pigs or other animals over large land areas and generate millions of tons of manure and billions of gallons of wastewater every year. Un-captured gas and resulting stench emitted from the waste also contributes heavily to global climate warming.
Remaining slurries of liquid waste contain high levels of dissolved and suspended solids, and are also high in nitrogen, which is a primary contributor to water eutrophication, the ‘dead zones’ of lakes and oceans. RGP’s anaerobically treated nitrogen, however, is useful fertilizer for crops. Nitrogen fertilizer for fruit-bearing plants can be a large expense to farmers, and integration of RGP’s re-usable water for irrigation can be another source of revenue or prevented costs, another profitable and efficient method of turning waste into valuable products.
RGP can employ denitrification treatment using Bionest technology designed to biologically remove the nitrogen from the treated water. Final filtration then disinfection using UV sterilizers or chlorine yields water suitable for discharge under the strictest water quality standards. RGP does not intend to purify the treated water for human consumption from CAFO waste, but it can be done for animal consumption using reverse osmosis filters.
Sugar Mills and Ethanol Distilleries
Clean Sugar Process
Sugarcane is grown widely throughout tropical regions of the world and is high in sucrose and fiber, two valuable renewable energy feedstocks. Currently, in Hawai‘i and elsewhere, sugar has a reputation for being environmentally polluting, increasing air and water pollution and stressing limited water supplies. RGP can demonstrate — through its technologies and applications — environmentally sound, sustainable solutions for clean energy production with its sugar model facility.
Value from Waste
RGP can revolutionize agricultural processing by capturing value from waste streams, including turning vinasse into irrigation-grade water. At sugar mills in Hawai‘i and around the world, millions of gallons of water are polluted each day. The polluted waters ferment in ponds and ditches, and release thousands of tons of greenhouse gases and noxious smells into the air. A large component of the gases discharged into the air is methane gas (CH4), which is the major component of natural gas, and is a far more damaging greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2). RGP intends to capture the methane by treating the wastewater in sealed anaerobic reactor vessels, drawing off the CH4 gas for conversion into energy, then selling that energy to local utility companies and reclaiming the treated water for reuse.
Municipal Waste & Sewage Treatment Centers
RGP’s combined denitrification and anaerobic processes constitute full secondary and tertiary waste treatment of sewage. RGP’s denitrification process removes ammonia and nitrates from urea, which is characteristic of sewage wastewaters. In addition to production of biogas, the RGP system yields high-quality re-usable water and meets standards for irrigation use on food crops, golf courses and parks, and for permitted discharges into waterways.
RGP can process large volumes of sewage water quickly and effectively without the operational costs and capital costs of membrane reactors, which are prone to foul under heavy, constant throughput. RGP’s system can be used alongside high-temperature, high-solids stirred tank reactors used to digest sewage sludge, or can be used on unsettled screened primary effluent.
Because sewage and water treatment infrastructure is often the largest use of energy in a community, RGP’s systems – eliminating water or sludge handling steps – provide large cost savings. Additionally, biogas produced by the anaerobic treatment of the sewage effluent is useful in offsetting large power demands typical at sewage treatment plants, and reclaimed water also directly reduces the high costs of water pulled from wells.
RGP is developing strategic partnerships with existing companies that culture algae to produce biodiesel, jet fuel, fish food and nutriceuticals. RGP’s technology and applications provide algae developers with necessary solutions to waste handling, aqueous culture medium, nutrients and CO2.
Other Small and Large Scale Uses
For smaller wastewater polluters RGP combines wastewater treatment and hot water production with water heaters, an ideal combination for small dairies and CAFOs seeking solutions to tightening EPA regulations. RGP wastewater solutions are suitable for applications as small as 4000 gpd (15 m3/d) to well over 13 million gpd (50,000 m3/d). Facilities larger than 500,000 gpd (1900 m3/d) can include power generation and water purification equipment. For lab-scale solutions RGP uses a bench top apparatus.