Geosciences and geoethics emerge at the core of a globally increasing demand of resources and the risk of scarcity for the new generations, promoting social, economic and environmental awareness, better management of resources and our commitment to environmental issues. According to the United Nations World Water Assessment Program, water consumption rates increased in the last decades and this trend is likely to continue over the coming years. Driven by climatic hazards due to human activities or by the denaturation of freshwater sources, in certain regions of the planet, water is becoming increasingly scarce, already facing water supply deficits, water resources must be saved as much as possible. The industrial sector accounts for a considerable volume of freshwater consumption, lagging behind the agriculture sector. Nonetheless, the global annual water used in industry is expected to increase and, particularly, much of this increase will occur in developing countries, experiencing rapid industrial progress. The present work deals with a case study of the intervention and adaptation of a wastewater treatment process of a food company. Through a water pinch analysis, within the concept of circular economy, it is envisaged to improve the efficiency of the water management system through a reduction in water and energy use and also wastewater generation. The introduction of new stages in the treatment process is proposed to allow the reuse of treated wastewater and to reduce raw water consumption from natural sources. This research points to the use of phytoremediation processes combined with ion exchange columns, packed with a mix of cationic and anionic resins. The results were promising and point to an intervention proposal with a reduction of up to 55% in the consumption of raw water and a 45% reduction in the volume of treated wastewater sent for discharge.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
APHA (2012) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. In: Rice EW, Baird RB, Eaton AD, Clesceri LS (eds), 22nd edition, American Public Health Association (APHA), American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Water Environment Federation (WEF). Washington DC, USA
Casani S, Knøchel S (2002) Application of HACCP to water reuse in the food industry. Food Control 13:315–327. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0956-7135(02)00037-3
De Laet C, Matringe T, Petit E et al (2019) Eichhornia crassipes: a powerful bio-indicator for water pollution by emerging pollutants. Sci Rep 9:7326. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-43769-4
Dushenkov V, Kumar PBAN, Motto H, Raskin I (1995) Rhizofiltration: the use of plants to remove heavy metals from aqueous streams. Environ Sci Technol 29(5):1239–1245. https://doi.org/10.1021/es00005a015
Ebel M, Evangelou MWH, Schaeffer A (2007) Cyanide phytoremediation by water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes). Chemosphere 66:816–823. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.06.041
Haider SZ (1989) Recent work in Bangladesh in utilization of water hyacinth. Commonwealth science council Dhaka/ Dhaka University, Dhaka, p 32
Jayaweera MW, Kasturiarachchi JC, Kularatne RKA, Wijeyekoon SLJ (2007) Removal of aluminum by constructed wetlands with water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms) grown under different nutritional conditions. J Environ Sci Health 42(2):185–193. https://doi.org/10.1080/10934520601011361
Li B, Zhang G, Ye M, Du J, Xiang X et al (2016) Network optimization and performance evaluation of the water-use system in China’s straw pulp and paper industry: a case study. Clean Techn Environ Policy 18:257–268. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-015-1013-y
Liu C, Ye J, Lin Y, Wu J, Price GW, Burton D, Wang Y (2020) Removal of Cadmium (II) using water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) biochar alginate beads in aqueous solutions. Environ Pollut 264:114785. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114785
Mann JG, Liu YA (1999) Industrial water reuse and wastewater minimization. McGraw-Hill
Matteucci R, Gosso G, Peppoloni S, Piacente S, Wasowski J (2014) The “Geoethical Promise”: a proposal. Episodes 37(3):190–191. https://doi.org/10.18814/epiiugs/2014/v37i3/004.
Mishra S, Maiti A (2017) The efficiency of Eichhornia crassipes in the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants from wastewater: a review. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:7921–7937. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-8357-7
Mohammadnejad S, Bidhendi GN, Mehrdadi N (2011) Water pinch analysis in oil refinery using regeneration reuse and recycling consideration. Desalination 265:255–265. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2010.07.059
Mughees W, Al-Ahmad M (2015) Application of water pinch technology in minimization of water consumption at a refinery. Comput Chem Eng 73:34–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compchemeng.2014.11.004
Nemati-Amirkolaii K, Romdhana H, Lameloise ML (2019) Pinch methods for efficient use of water in food industry: a survey review. Sustainability 11(16):4492. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164492
Odjegba VJ, Fasidi IO (2007) Phytoremediation of heavy metals by Eichhornia crassipes. Environmentalist 27:349–355. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10669-007-9047-2
Oliveira JCT, Bruzon G (2018) Aplicação de aguapé para o tratamento de efluentes. XI Fórum Científico Fema, Brasil. https://cepein.femanet.com.br/BDigital/arqPics/1311430158P588.pdf. Accessed 05 May 2019
Parand R (2014) Water and Wastewater Optimization through Process Integration for Industrial Processes. Dissertation, Curtin University
Peppoloni S, Bilham N, Di Capua G (2019) Contemporary Geoethics Within the Geosciences. In: Bohle M. (eds) Exploring Geoethics. Palgrave Pivot, Cham: Springer International Publishing: 25–70. https://link.springer.com/chapter/https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12010-8_2.
Siliciano SD, Germida JJ (1999) Enhanced phytoremediation of chlorobenzoates in rhizosphere soil. Soil Biol Biochem 31(2):299–305. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0038-0717(98)00120-5
Singhal V, Rai JPN (2003) Biogas production from water hyacinth and channel grass used for phytoremediation of industrial effluents. Biores Technol 86:221–225. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0960-8524(02)00178-5
Skouteris G, Ouki S, Foo D, Saroj D, Altini M, Melidis P, Cowley B, Ells G, Palmer S, O’Dell S (2018) Water footprint and water pinch analysis techniques for sustainable water management in the brick-manufacturing industry. J Clean Prod 172:786–794. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.10.213
Thevendiraraj S, Klemeš J, Paz D, Aso G, Cardenas GJ (2003) Water and wastewater minimisation study of a citrus plant. Resour Conserv Recycl 37(3):227–250. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-3449(02)00102-7
Ting WHT, Tan IAW, Salleh SF, Wahab NA (2018) Application of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) for phytoremediation of ammoniacal nitrogen: a review. J Water Process Eng 22:239–249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwpe.2018.02.011
Wang YP, Smith R (1994) Wastewater minimisation. Chem Eng Sci 49(7):981–1006. https://doi.org/10.1016/0009-2509(94)80006-5
World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP). Paris, UNESCO. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/wwdr/wwdr1-2003/. Accessed 15 Dec 2019
WWAP (2003) The United Nations World Water Development Report 2013. United Nations
WWAP (2017). The United Nations World Water Development Report 2017: Wastewater, the untapped resource. United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP). Paris, UNESCO. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/wwdr/2017-wastewater-the-untapped-resource/. Accessed 15 Dec 2019
Thanks are due for the financial support to CESAM (UID/AMB/50017/2019, UIDB/50017/2020, UIDP/50017/2020), to FCT/MEC through national funds, and the co-funding by the FEDER, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement and Compete 2020. Likewise, it is acknowledged the financial support to REQUIMTE, the Associate Laboratory for Green Chemistry-LAQV, through national funds from FCT/MCTES (UIDB/50006/2020), co-financed by the ERDF under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007265).
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Lima, A., Abreu, T. & Figueiredo, S. Water and wastewater optimization in a food processing industry using water pinch technology. Sustain. Water Resour. Manag. 7, 82 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40899-021-00560-6
- Circular economy
- Effluent treatment
- Water pinch analysis
- Water reuse