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Environmental Audit: A Tool For Increasing Profits And

Reducing Pollution In Developing Countries


A case of a Biscuit Manufacturing Unit in India

A..Shajahan
Formerly with National Productivity Council as Deputy Director (Environment)
Email : alishajahan@gmail.com
Background
NPC conducted a detailed waste audit in a biscuit manufacturing unit with a
production level of 50T/d and making 24 different soft and hard biscuit varieties.
The major raw materials used were wheat flour, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable
oil (HVO), water, skimmed milk powder, butter etc. Specified quantities of raw
materials are fed to a dough mixer where kneading of raw materials is carried
out. The dough thus prepared is taken to the baking line where it is made into
sheets by a pair of rollers and then passed through a moulder/cutter. The raw
biscuits are taken by a conveyor into the baking oven, fired by LDO through a set
of six burners. The baking is carried out in 6 stages with different temperature
regimes. The products of combustion from each burner pass through radiant
heat transfer tubes and finally exit through individual chimneys. The defective
biscuits are drawn out of the conveyor and collected in a tray. The good biscuits
are mostly packed in wrappers and the rest in cardboard boxes and bins. All the
packed biscuits are sent to storage and forwarding area (S&F).
The major water consumption areas are process (9m3/d), cooling tower make up
(23m3/d), canteen (16m3/d) and toilets/urinals (52m3/d).
The process wastewater (4m3/d) emanates from periodic cleaning of dough
mixers, moulders, cutters, dough trucks, vats and floors.
Resource Conservation and Pollution Abatement Measures
Mould and Cutter Cleaning
The unit had a practice of cleaning the moulder and cutter first with compressed
air followed by water wash thereby discharging the residual dough into the drain.

It was recommended to initially recover the dough (7kg/d) adhering to the


cutter/moulder removed using compressed air & reuse it with left over dough in
the process or alternatively dispose off along with the dough waste. This
measure resulted in a BOD load reduction of 20% in the process wastewater.
Condensate Recovery
The presently discharged uncontaminated steam condensate (2.5m 3/d) from the
sugar reconstitution and GMS preparation section was recommended to be
collected and reused for steam generation in boiler. This measure resulted in
both waste heat recovery as well as water conservation.
HVO Handling and Defatting
In mixing area the HVO tins with residual HVO is sometimes used for mixing
lecithin and skimmed milk powder. The HVO tins after emptying is taken to
defatting section where it is defatted by steam injection. The residual lecithin and
skimmed milk powder also gets collected alongwith the defatted oil. The
operator at times by visual observation finds the oil contaminated and it is
disposed off there itself making the area swampy and slippery. However this
defatted oil does not go to the ETP. The residual HVO in tins amounts to about
80 kg/d. It is reported that it is used in the AOF preparation. But the study team
has observed the non-utilization of defatted oil on 3 occasions.
Sometimes the HVO tins are kept in hot water bath before opening it. By this
practice only a very little quantity of HVO is left over. If this is practiced for all the
tins the unit can prevent a loss of 80 kg of HVO/d, thereby saving Rs.7,68,000/annum. The defatting operation in which the reuse of defatted HVO is not
ensured can be eliminated alongwith the associated cost of labour and steam.
Control of Make-up water Overflow in cooling Towers
By rectification of the float system of the cooling tower water saving of 20m 3/d
was effected, thereby resulting in a 75% reduction in cooling water make up.
Energy Conservation and Emission Abatement Measures
Energy Costs
The annual energy bill for the plant is around Rs.1.2 crores with electrical energy
accounting for Rs.58 lacs. The power cost and fuel cost account for 2.25 percent
of the product cost respectively.
Maximum Demand Control

The company had a contract demand of 750 KVA which was recently enhanced
to 1200 KVA in view of the expansion plans. The MD had varied from 560 715
KVA during the last 12 months.
The analysis of the KVA demand data for a 24-hour cycle shows that 63% of the
time, the load had remained between 500-600 KVA. On seven occasions the
load remained between 500-600 KVA. Only twice in the cycle the load has
approached 700 KVA.
The peaks (700 KVA) had occurred due to simultaneous operation of many high
capacity loads such as mixers. The MD can be controlled between 400-500 KVA
by judicious operation of equipments and segregation of essential and nonessential loads so that the later can be shed during peak load periods.
Baking Oven
The average LDO consumption per day for both the ovens is 3250 liters.
To determine the fuel efficiency, an emission from each stack was monitored.
The result of the gas analysis showed very high excess air (200-300%) being
used in the burners indicating excessive heat loss in the flue gas equivalent to
30% of the heat input in the fuel. It was recommended to use an excess air of
30%, which is normally used for oil firing purposes. This measure resulted in
20% of oil saving amounting to an annual savings of Rs.12.5 lacs.
Other Recommendations for Energy Conservation
Since the refrigeration system contributes a major share of the electrical load, the
plan can utilize the exhaust heat from baking ovens by installing a vapor
absorption system thereby reducing the electrical energy consumed.
The compressed air system has to be repaired for leaks regularly to minimize the
cost of compressed air.
The butter requirement for the plant is around 600 kg/d only. However an
inventory of 18 T is maintained at 0 to 4oC. This consumes sizable energy and
hence a lower inventory should be carried taking into account the energy costs.
Optimized Operation of ETP
A schematic flow diagram of the ETP is given in Fig.1. The ETP receives
process, canteen and domestic wastewater. The system consists of
-

Pre-treatment comprising of O/G trap, Screen chamber, collection sump and


Grit channel

Two stages of biological treatment adopting activated sludge process

ETP has been designed for a basis of 150 m 3/day and a daily BOD load of
225kg.

Performance Evaluation of ETP


Performance evaluation of ETP was carried out on two occasions and analysis of
the obtained data reveals that the combined raw wastewater flow is 72 m 3/d with
a BOD concentration of 736 mg/1, which is equivalent to a computed load of 53
kg/d. This load is only 24% of the design BOD load of 225 kg/day, indicating

Figure 1. EFFLUENT TREATMENT PLANT LAYOUT


CANTEEN W.W.

DOMESTIC
W.W.

PROCESS
W.W.
S.C.

S.C.
O/G
TRAP

JUNCTION
CHAMBER

O/G
TRAP

R&D

AERATION
TANK - II

RECIRCULATION

COLLECTION
SUMP

DOMESTIC
W.W.FROM
ADMN.

P
GRIT
CHANNEL

AERATION
TANK -I
TREATED
WATER
COLLECTION
SUMP

P
S.T
S.T
EXCESS
SLUDGE

O/G W.W S.T. P


SDB -

OIL & GREASE


WASTEWATER
SETTLING TANK
PUMP
SLUDGE DRYING
BED
S.C. - SCREEN CHAMBER

SDB
EXCESS
SLUDGE

that treatment system has been excessively over designed and the treated
effluent was not conforming to the standards in terms of BOD & TSS.

FLOW CONTRIBUTION TO ETP

Process
15.8m3/day

Canteen
51.6 m3/day

Process
4m3/day

BOD Contribution to ETP


13

Canteen 16.65 kg/d (32%)

Domestic 9.34 Kg/d (18%)

Process 26.7 kg/d (51%)

The BOD & COD removals were satisfactory in the first stage biological
treatment. But there is a carryover of solids from the settling tank to the
second stage. This carry over was due to poor sludge compaction achieved
in the circular settling tank. The operating MLSS level, vis-a-vis 14TSS in the
return sludge, is too low.

A high D.O. level is maintained in the aeration tank and this causes pin-flock
formation of microbial mass. With this intensive mixing, agglomeration of
biomass is difficult to achieve.

The operating problems and process deficiencies for second stage biological
treatment are also similar to first stage system. Additional problems were:
i.

The F/M ratio is 0.028 due to primarily low organic loading rate. The
MLSS level in the aeration tank is 956 mg/1 as against a design value of
4000 mg/1. Due to low organic loading rate and carryover of suspended
solids in the clarified effluent, the overall treatment efficiency is low.

ii.

Low hydraulic loading rate and high detention time in the setting tank II
causes the problem of rising sludge.

Impact of ETP Design on Performance


Due to over design and poor control and poor control over process parameters,
not only has the treatment efficiency suffered but also resulted in high power
consumption.
The O/G trap cum screen chamber for the canteen wastewater is highly over
designed. For existing size of the trap, the detention period is 2.5 hours which is
much more than the desired value of 30 minutes. Over design of pre-treatment
units cause accumulation of solids, causing odour nuisance and becomes a
breeding ground for growth of vectors.
The required volume of collection well is only 0.36 m 3, as against the existing
volume of 20.6 m3. This again leads to problems mentioned above.
ETP Upgradation Measures
With the measured pre-treated raw waste water characteristics, the required
aeration tank volume, power for aeration and sedimentation tank size were
computed. For treating the entire factory effluent, an aeration tank volume of 97
m3, aerator H.P of 7.5 and sedimentation area of 3 m2 would be adequate. As
against this, the present system has a total aeration tank volume of 176.25m 3,
total H.P. of 20 and sedimentation area of 13.4 m 2.

It was recommended to eliminate the first stage activated sludge system and
continue with second stage aeration with only a 5 H.P aerator, thereby
resulting in a power saving of 15 H.P.

The sedimentation tank has to be modified with improved hopper bottom and
overflow weir arrangement.

It was recommended to maintain optimum D.O level (1-2 mg/1), high return
sludge concentration for consistent BOD and COD removal.

The present power cost of ETP is Rs.3,39,800/-annum. The recommended


modifications would also result in a saving in energy costs to the extent of
Rs.2, 48,300/-annum. The details are given as follows.

1.
2.

Equipment Description
Pumps
Collection sump to grit channel
Return sludge to A.T.I

H.P. Rating
Existing
Necessary
2
1
2

3.
1.
2.

Return sludge to A.T. II


Aerators
A.T. I
A.T. II
TOTAL

5
15
26

Annual Savings in Electrical Energy


Existing power cost

= 26 x 0.746 x 24 x 365 x Rs.2


= Rs.3,39,800

Cost of necessary power

= 7 x 0.746 x 24 x 365 x Rs. 2


= Rs. 91,500

Savings in power

= Rs. 2,48,300 per annum