Italian meat processor and producer Inalca SpA’s projects to reduce water and energy use at its plant in Rieti, Italy, resulted in annual savings of 3.7 million gallons of water and more than $72,000.
The facility’s heating plant, which consists of three boilers fueled by methane gas, generates the steam necessary for production. The plant’s cogeneration system also uses methane gas to produce electrical energy and the heat from the exhaust fumes is used to produce steam and hot water. Inalca wanted to reduce site water and energy consumption, reduce total cost of operation, and improve site process operations.
Inalca worked with Nalco Water (an Ecolab company) to improve boiler asset reliability, reduce water and energy use, and improve water reuse.
Inalca says its vision of sustainable development is dictated by the economic, environmental and social challenges that develop within its supply chain.
By 2030, the world will need 40% more water – and that’s just a global average. In many of the fastest-developing regions, where an estimated three billion people will join the global consumer class over the next two decades, the gap will be larger, and it is being felt already, according to Ecolab. Today, less than three percent of wastewater is recycled. In the United States, industry reuses far less than 10% of the fresh water used for industrial processes. The identification of waste in terms of resources, capacity, lifecycle and embedded value that is the building block of the circular economy must also be fully applied to water cycles. “It is quite possible there is no resource with more circular potential than water. When we maximize the potential of water by recycling, reusing and repurposing it, the possibilities for its use are endless,” Ecolab says.