Layne Christensen helps food manufacturer 'go green' with reverse osmosis

Dec. 16, 2009
PEWAUKEE, WI, Dec. 16, 2009 -- Can the installation of a Reverse Osmosis system help a food processor become more "green"?...

PEWAUKEE, WI, Dec. 16, 2009 -- Can the installation of a Reverse Osmosis system help a food processor become more "green"? It certainly can when the installation is part of a larger holistic approach to water and energy management.

In Northern Wisconsin, a large, Midwestern food processor packages green beans, carrots and potatoes. As part of both a green initiative to improve its processing methods and an energy saving measure, the company was considering alternatives to the softeners they used to treat boiler make-up water and canning water.

Since the feedwater flows from a high-capacity well installed and maintained by Layne Christensen Company, it made sense to contact Layne Christensen for possible downstream improvements.

After reviewing the customer's needs, Layne designed, manufactured and started up a treatment system that yielded significant advantages beyond the original scope of the project. Following a water analysis, Layne proposed that a 350 GPM Reverse Osmosis (RO) system be used to augment the plant's ion exchange softeners.

The new treatment strategy provided significant advantages over the pre-existing system by:

• Reducing all dissolved ions as opposed to just softening the water.
• Reducing energy loss by allowing the boiler to operate with a blowdown rate of less than 2%.
• Reducing softener salt consumption by 97.7%, an estimated 235 tons annually.
• Extending softener run lengths before regeneration by a factor of 54 (from 8 hours to 16 days).
• Improving the quality of the plant's discharge water by greatly reducing the amount of chloride loading in the plant's discharge.

The boiler operation is not the only area of the plant to benefit from the addition of the new high quality RO source which is also used in the food processing lines, and in the canning operation as topping water.

Through the application of innovative "green" modeling and engineering what started as a simple RO boiler make-up water application expanded into a project that provides benefits to other areas of the plant and the environment as well.

About Layne Christensen
Based in Pewaukee, Wisconsin with offices throughout the United States, Layne Christensen's Water Resources Division has been resolving water quality problems for over a half century, installing hundreds of treatment systems throughout North America. For more information on Layne Christensen Company's Water Resources Division visit


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