Articles & Case Studies

Degrémont Optimizes Environmental Footprint for 60 Water Treatment Plants

Posted: Friday 5th April 2013

Over the past 10 years, Degrémont and GE (NYSE: GE) have helped more than 60 local municipalities and industries, including refining and petrochemical, save more than 40 billion liters of water with GE’s ZeeWeed* membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology.

The purified water was reused in industrial processes, for irrigation and the watering of parkland (where the regulations permit), which preserves the water resources by limiting recourse to drinking water. In many situations, such as in Cannes (Aquaviva) and Nouméa (James Cook), GE’s technology has contributed to significantly improving the quality of the water output and to reducing the environmental footprint due to its compactness in comparison with conventional clarification-disinfection technologies. Degrémont is an international company and a subsidiary of Suez Environnement that designs, builds, operates and equips water treatment installations for local governments and industries.

Specifically, six of Degrémont’s industrial customers in France, Italy and China together reused more than 40 billion liters of water per year resulting in Degrémont being honored with GE’s ecomagination Leadership Award. The award recognizes the achievements of industrial users that significantly surpass and improve environmental and industrial operational goals while balancing industrial demands.

“Reusing water for industrial applications allows our customers to avoid using valuable drinking water as feed source. By providing more than 60 of our customers with GE’s ZeeWeed technology has allowed us to help them collectively reuse more than 40 billion liters of water,” said Pierre Yves Pouliquen, director of Degrémont's French business. "We are honored that GE has recognized us for an ecomagination award. Our collaboration and ongoing feedback has enabled us to work closely together on improving membrane and process performance. We have together helped drive energy, footprint and performance optimization, all critical parameters in sustainable development."

The GE ecomagination award was presented yesterday to Degrémont during a ceremony to celebrate the 10 years of partnership between the two companies and the more than 60 Degrémont sites equipped with the GE technology.

“We have noticed an ongoing trend that industrial users around the world are focusing more on decreasing their water footprint to reuse water, lower costs and minimize environmental impact. Degrémont and its customers are examples to follow concerning the manner in which certain local authorities and petrochemical and refining industries can successfully reuse water," said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.

All of the projects used GE’s ZeeWeed 500 and ZeeWeed 1000 reinforced, hollow-fiber membranes, which have been proven over more than two decades of wastewater treatment and water reuse applications. ZeeWeed 500 technology is an advanced filtration technology that separates particles, bacteria and viruses from water or wastewater. Nearly 1,000 plants worldwide use this technology to produce superior quality.

Ultrafiltration uses a semi-permeable membrane barrier to reject suspended solids, bacteria, viruses, endotoxins and other pathogens in water to produce treated water known as permeate with very high purity and low silt density. It serves as a pretreatment for surface water, seawater and biologically treated municipal effluent before reverse osmosis and other membrane water treatment systems. Ultrafiltration also is used in industry to separate suspended solids from solution. GE’s ZeeWeed ultrafiltration membranes offer an unmatched combination of ultrafiltration performance, energy efficiency, durability, fast installation, ease of operation and reliability.

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