Most of those responsible in India are aware that the supply of clean water will be the greatest challenge in the coming years. Many publications mention the year 2025, from when the supply of clean water cannot be guaranteed. There is great pressure on the Indian decision-makers here.
The market in India is very price-sensitive and, due to its sheer size, confusing. The demand for plants for the treatment of drinking water and the purification of waste water is very high.
Due to the non-transparent and intricate bureaucracy in India, however, concrete investments are still insufficient. The “Clean Ganga Mission”, which has been in existence for 25 years, has so far used only a small fraction of the available budget. The new “Smart City Program” is supported by the German government in three cities. The Indian water market is growing and becoming more dynamic.
In addition to the already existing exchange about the market and the challenges it must be a goal to establish a joint GWP project in India to show case it and demonstrate the competence of German GWP members under real conditions in India.
The active members of the regional section started in 2009 with originally inhomogeneous and often vague ideas about Indian market access in the water sector. The first aim was to establish a general exchange of experiences and contacts with the German Embassy and the AHK in Delhi.
In 2010 the first thoughts were given to an Indo-GWP-Day in Bangalore and the participation at IFAT India.
To date/in the meanwhile, there has been a GWP joint stand at all five IFAT India trade fairs and four GWP Days have been held in which the members have played a leading role.
Current Work (Summer 2018)
The establishment of a network about and in India was successfully organized by the country forum with the help of embassies, chambers of commerce, ministries and funding institutions. Today we understand much better which approaches and solutions are successful in the Indian water market and which areas still need their time to become a real market.
We currently see market opportunities for German companies more in the areas of water supply, skill set building, and industrial water treatment. Solutions for municipal wastewater treatment are progressing in very small steps.
Peter Althaus (ENEXIO Water Technologies GmbH)
„If you have long-term goals to position yourself in the Indian water market and work persistently on the implementation of these goals, this is a market in which you have to play a part.“
Michael Kuhn (KUHN GmbH)
„It is clear that the Indian water market is growing and becoming increasingly dynamic. The country forum tries to be a part of and to support and accompany more members on this sometimes tough but definitely successful path.“
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Case study about wastewater treatment in a dye mill in Tirupur, India
12/2019 Tirupur, India
Application and system design
Dying processes require high concentrations of salt to fix the dyes onto the cellulose textile. At the end of the dying process, the wastewater stream consists of a high concen-tration of salts and organics.
In this dying mill in Tirupur, the wastewater is first treated with biological treatment (tertiary treatment) to reduce the amount of organics in the wastewater. This step is followed by quartz filtration. The process water is then passed through an ion exchange treatment stage, consisting of the organic scavenger to remove the organic substances followed by water softening with Lewatit® CNP 80 WS. Since sodium sulfate is added during the process, calcium must be removed to avoid the precipitation of calcium sulfate.
After the ion exchange sequence, 85 m3/h water is passed through a reverse osmosis (RO) system with Lewabrane® RO S400 HR to remove salts and other remaining organ-ics. While the feed contains total dissolved solids (TDS) of 11,000 mg/l the RO process reduces it to less than 100 mg/l. The RO system operates at a recovery rate of 80%. The RO brine with TDS of around 50,000 mg/l is further treated by NF (nanofiltration) membranes to recover the sulfate, while the sodium chloride, which passes through the NF membrane, is concentrated by a multiple-effect evaporator. The sodium chloride salts are finally dried in a solar pan and disposed of as solid waste. The concentrate of the NF process, which contains mainly sulfate, is reused in the dying process.
Membrane and ion exchange performance
State-of-the-art pretreatment is key to achieving these long lifetimes of RO elements while treating difficult industrial wastewater. The scavenger reduces the COD to a level of 35 ppm, which reduces organic fouling and the bio growth potential of the stream. The following softening reduces the hardness to less than 10mg/l, which results in a lower scaling potential. Combined with the high rejection and durability of the Lewabrane® S400 HR elements the expected performance and lifetime can be achieved.
The described industrial example shows that the reduction of wastewater, even in challenging process industries, is possible using the right tools. Lewatit® ion exchange resins and Lewabrane® reverse osmosis elements are a smart and efficient combination to treat wastewater that contains a high load of organics and high salinity.
In industrial water treatment applications, where a high load of organics could pass through pretreatment by ultrafiltration, the use of scavenger resins before RO treatment should be considered. The removal of organics will lead to decrease of fouling on the RO membrane.