Bridgnorth Aluminium is a Shropshire-based company that makes high-quality aluminium products for the lithographic industry. They have a global customer base and work in an increasingly competitive marketplace. There’s no room for compromise on quality and this, combined with a genuine drive for process efficiency, investment in expansion of capacity, and a desire to reduce water consumption, has led to a £600,000 investment in a new effluent treatment plant on site. The aim is to reduce water discharge, comply with water authority consents, increase recycling of water on site and optimise chemical treatment of all waste water, saving money at all points.
Water is used at all stages of production and represents a significant cost to buy in, to treat post-use, and to dispose of. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is an effective way of measuring both organic pollutants and water quality. Until October 2014, this was performed solely by quarterly tests carried out by the local water authority. Bridgnorth Aluminium have a COD discharge consent level set by the local water authority, and any breaches of this result in financial penalties. During waste water treatment, overuse of chemicals causes increased costs, whilst under-treatment can cause a breach of consent, a criminal offence, resulting in further financial charges, unlimited fines and, potentially, imprisonment.
In an effort to minimise chemical treatment, optimise the new effluent plant design and introduce routine high-quality COD monitoring, they invested in the Mantech PeCOD® system. This is a nanotechnology-based approach to COD analysis that overcomes many of the problems encountered by existing COD analysis methods, making it the new global standard for COD analysis. The 10-minute test, without the use of dichromate, allowed testing to become routine.
Multiple tests have been run every day since its installation, and have resulted in direct cash savings brought about by optimisation of the flocculation treatment process. The design of the new effluent plant has been improved thanks to the data generated, and an online version of the Mantech PeCOD® system is scheduled to be installed in the near future.
Chris Jones, Research Chemist, said: “The PeCOD has very clearly paid for itself in just the first three months. It allows us to do testing we simply couldn’t have done any other way.”
The COD levels of various concentrations of the degreasing chemical were measured and, when plotted, demonstrated a linear relationship. This relationship has been used as part of the process model to predict input COD levels into the new waste water treatment plant from the new degreasing line.
An additional, surprise benefit was provided by the data. The plant has hydraulic lines which are difficult to access, and engineers knew there was a small leak somewhere; they were losing hydraulic fluid slowly. The Mantech PeCOD® system allowed rapid COD testing of water from various points around the hydraulic network and was able to pinpoint the leak, meaning it could be fixed with minimal downtime over the Christmas period.
“The PeCOD is very user friendly and accurate, though for me the best aspect of the PeCOD is how fast the test is! This revolutionary piece of equipment is a fast but powerful way of COD analysis, giving consistent and quality results every test!” – James Bissell, Laboratory Technician.
If you’d like to see how the Mantech PeCOD® system could revolutionise your COD testing and save you money, give Nick Howe at Camlab a call on 07979 861865, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Camlab, headquartered in Cambridge, United Kingdom, has been supplying water testing and laboratory equipment globally for nearly 60 years and has unrivalled experience. Our expertise in the supply of laboratory products, instrumentation and consumables for scientific applications is backed up by our highly qualified and experienced service team providing you with a unique level of support for your purchase for its entire lifetime.