About the EU Industrial Emissions Directive
The EU Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) refers to the legal measures that companies are required to follow to reduce their harmful industrial emissions. This includes emissions of wastewater and generation of waste.
Although the rules were initially implemented in 2011, EU regulators are currently proposing a series of best practices that will tighten the already stringent regulations on emissions and effluent.
The strict rules will be provided in ‘best available techniques’ or BREF document requirements, which for the food, drink and milk industries will likely be published in 2019.
The tightening of the rules will have a severe impact on the beverage and brewing sector, which are water-intensive industries that HPS provide product recovery (‘pigging’) solutions for. The BREF will also impact the food sector. What’s more, if food manufacturers have meat in their products, the impact could be even greater.
New Rules Provided in Best Available Techniques
According to Alpheus, part of the Anglian Water Group, many processors and manufacturers are unaware of the severity and potential impact of the new rules.
Companies that fail to comply with the IED could potentially face costly fines as well as disciplinary action. The worst-case scenario could see companies having to close production facilities, due to failing to take account of the IED.
The new rules will likely affect large processors of beverages, for instance, those who produce more than 1 million hectolitres per year of beer, juice and soft drink products. However, not only will it impact the largest producers, but it will also have an impact on medium-sized producers i.e. those who produce more than 100,000 hectolitres per year. It can provide value to medium-sized producers who can use the new rules as a benchmarking tool.
Food Producers also Impacted by the IED
In regard to food producers, manufacturers that produce products with animal-sourced ingredients (other than milk) must meet lower thresholds for compliance (75 tonnes per day) in comparison to non-meat food manufacturers (300 tonnes per day).
Processors who produce both animal and vegetable food products must meet 75 tonnes per day if the animal content exceeds 10%.
So, what can processors and manufacturers of food and beverages do to reduce their waste emissions and energy usage to meet the threshold?
Pigging – Improving Efficiency and Helping Environmental Sustainability
Many food and beverage manufacturers have hygienic and sanitary pigging systems in their production facilities to help them meet sustainability targets, increase yields, reduce product waste, save on water and cleaning chemicals, and improve their operational efficiency.
Although implementing pigging systems alone may not help producers meet the new emission targets, they are a big step towards doing so, certainly if used in combination with other techniques.
For instance, as well as using pigging to reduce water consumption, a brewery may use techniques such as reusing hot water from wort cooling processes, reusing wastewater from the lauter tun, cross-flow filtration plus other techniques.
Pigging Reduces Water Consumption
In regard to pigging, the technology helps food and beverage producers reduce their water consumption significantly. As an example, HPS provided pigging systems for a winery based in Australia who estimates they are saving around 40 million litres per year of water.
Generally, in food and drink production, it is common to use significant amounts of water to flush out product from the pipelines during product changeovers and cleaning.
Many manufacturers incorporate clean-in-place (CIP), which is an extremely energy-intensive process. The first stage of the cycle requires rinse water to remove particulates and product residues from the pipeline. The next stage of the cycle then involves a chemical or detergent-based cleaning process and the use of cleaning agents. This is sometimes followed by another water flush.
Pigging and CIP Offers Many Benefits
However, using pigging before CIP has many benefits in regard to process efficiency and productivity. Because pigging removes up to 99.5% of product from the line, the requirement for a lengthy water flush out is considerably reduced. This reduces water usage significantly and saves energy.
At the same time, it reduces the number of cleaning agents required and therefore improves safety and minimises environmental risk.
Because pigging systems reduce water consumption, energy, resources, and the use of cleaning agents, they have a positive impact on the environment and helps companies with their sustainability initiatives. That’s in addition to increasing competitiveness. Here’s more about how pigging helps the environment.
Reducing Waste by Pigging
As well as reducing water consumption, pigging systems offers many other benefits to food and beverage producers that are looking to reduce their effluent and emissions.
Because the hygienic pipeline pig recovers practically all of the product from the line that would otherwise be flushed away and wasted, this significantly reduces waste processing. At the same time, because there’s less product to send to waste, this means less cleaning fluids are required for the cleaning and changeover processes. Therefore, pigging directly has a positive impact on waste processing costs.
As an example, HPS implemented a pigging system for a wine processor which reduced their effluent production by 1500 litres per bottling run. This is the equivalent of approximately 500,000 litres per day.
Similarly, a large consumer giant incorporated a pigging system into their processing plant and has seen their cleaning chemical usage reduce from 60kg per washout to 20kg.
Find Out More
For producers of food and beverages that are wanting to improve their energy and water efficiency and reduce waste processing, a pigging system is the answer.
It will greatly improve product yields, efficiency, productivity and profits.
So, to get started with pigging, please get in touch.