For Citrique Belge De Watergroep has designed a cooling water system with an annual production capacity of at least 1.7 million cubic metres of cooling water, using surface water from the Grote Gete. The new installation is a sustainable alternative to the current pumping of groundwater from the vulnerable Landenian aquifer.
Citrique Belge annually produces some 100,000 tonnes of citric acid, using 2.7 million cubic metres of cooling water in the process. Over 1 million of cubic metres are effluent from the sewage water treatment plant in Tienen. The remaining volume is still being extracted from the vulnerable Landenian aquifer.
An in-depth study revealed that surface water was the best alternative to the current use of groundwater. For the water from the Grote Gete to be used in the existing open cooling water cycle, however, it must undergo a number of process steps. First, the Grote Gete will be equipped with a trash screen to retain coarse dirt. The water will subsequently be treated to remove suspended matter. The rinse water that is released during this treatment will be further treated in a sludge trap and then sent to the Gete. This means there is also an environmental gain.
The cooling water temperature may not exceed 12° Celsius. When the ambient air is cold enough, the river water will be cooled by atmospheric coolers (small cooling towers). At higher temperatures two cooling units will be activated. The cooling water, which in the future will be a mix of effluent and surface water, is directed back to the Grote Gete after use.