Less-Water Bev. Tech (nicknamed NIAGARA) is a research project aimed at reducing water consumption and wastage in the beverage industry through an innovative combination of water treatment technologies. In industrialised countries, in fact, increased water demand comes from industrial production. Food & Beverage, in particular, is a highly intensive water consumption industry.Reducing the consumption of this essential resource means helping to limit the environmental impact and the cost of drink production, thus increasing the sustainability and competitiveness of the beverage industry.
The NIAGARA project is co-funded by the Eco-innovation initiative of the European Union. It started on 1st October, 2014 and will finish at the end of September, 2017. The project coordinator is A DUE di Squeri Donato & C. S.p.A., with the support of its two partners: The University of Bologna ALMA MATER STUDIORUM and CVAR Ltd - United Kingdom.
The NIAGARA Project proposes an integrated set of innovations for the creation of a new water treatment able to dramatically reduce the use of water in the beverage preparation process, through:
- a new double reverse osmosis system able to increase the efficiency of water treatment and reduce both the consumption of raw water and the production of wastewater;
- a wastewater recovery and post-treatment system to recover part of the wastewater of the beverage production process and of the Clean-in-Place treatment;
- a feasibility study of a small “ad hoc” biogas power plant, to convert the organic solid waste generated from the wastewater post-treatment system into energy, in order to increase the energy efficiency of the beverage production process.
The expected results are as follows:
- considerable primary water saving ( -33% compared to the traditional basic plant) and the reduction of wastewater (-56% compared to the traditional basic plant);
- the recovery of about 75% of the total water drained for reuse in the drink preparation process;
- the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;
- the reduction of beverage production costs: the saving, on an annual basis, of 25% of the water currently used (value significantly below the real targets of the NIAGARA project) equals, in economic terms, the value of the drink produced in about 40 working days by an average CSD bottling line.