Improving the energy efficiency of wastewater treatment in Mexico case study


Courtesy of Kemira Water Solutions, Inc.

Kemira participated in the delegation of the Finnish Environment Institute Syke to Mexico, where a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the water sector was signed between the two governments. Mexico’s National Water Commission CONAGUA is the signing party in Mexico and an important customer for Kemira, who has been supplying coagulants for potable water treatment for Mexico City since 2006.

CO2 reduction in wastewater treatment was agreed to be one of the topics where cooperation will be initiated and a pilot project to optimize the energy efficiency of a Mexican municipal waste water treatment process is being identified.

Focus on carbon footprint and energy efficiency
The carbon footprint of wastewater treatment is topical internationally as many of the treatment processes are very energy intensive. Kemira’s chemical applications help wastewater treatment plants to reduce their energy consumption and through anaerobic digestion generate more biogas with a high energy value.

Energy efficiency has become an important design criterion when planning new wastewater treatment projects in Mexico. For instance, a large project to treat wastewater in the metropolitan area of Mexico City will use chemical precipitation with iron coagulants and digest the sludge in order to generate most of the electricity needed for the biological treatment process from methane.

Innovations leading to cost savings
Saving energy also results in direct economical savings when traditional wastewater treatment processes are combined with chemical applications. With Kemira’s technologies, more primary sludge with high energy value can be produced, the extent of the biological treatment process may be reduced, and sludge handling is improved. In larger projects this results in the possibility to obtain carbon credits that can be used under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

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