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No Small Potatoes: Selecting a Treatment System for Potato Processing Wastewater

Potatoes are one of the world’s most versatile foods, a staple in many people’s diet, and a major ingredient in countless processed foods such as potato chips, frozen french fries, dehydrated potatoes, potato flour, etc. Large volumes of wastewater and organic wastes are generated as result of the water used in potato processing.

Tough-to-Treat Potato Processing Waste

Potato processing wastewater can be challenging to treat for a number of reasons, including high flows and seasonal variability. It can also contain high organic loads, silt, sand, and swelled starch. Large amounts of total suspended solids (TSS), high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), as well as cleansing and blanching agents, further complicate treatment. Fat, oil, and grease (FOG) can also enter the process waste stream—especially when frying is involved.

The question is: how can potato processors responsibly treat wastewater to comply with environmental regulations while minimizing costs?

Biological Treatment: An Appealing Solution

Evoqua’s ADI Systems has the technologies and expertise to address the unique challenges faced by potato processors. In fact, treating potato processing wastewater is one of our specialities. Our customizable biological technologies reliably address potato processing waste—including wastewater, leftover potato skins, and peels.

High-strength, carbohydrate-rich wastewater is proven to be an ideal candidate for anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion results in much less waste sludge than aerobic processes, and is significantly more energy-efficient. The process itself requires less energy to operate, and naturally-occurring biogas from anaerobic digestion can be recovered and utilized on-site.

If anaerobic digestion is used to treat potato waste, naturally-occurring biogas can often be used as a money-saving source of renewable energy. Anaerobic digestion also produces a stabilized soil amendment that can be applied as a slow-release, natural fertilizer on agricultural land. With the appropriate treatment, high-quality effluent can be reclaimed for use in irrigation or even reused in plant operations.

Evoqua’s ADI Systems helps potato processors meet strict effluent discharge regulations to remain environmentally compliant, and help lower—or even eliminate—surcharges associated with discharging untreated wastewater to a local municipal treatment plant. We have installed industrial wastewater treatment solutions for large potato processors and snack manufacturers, including:

Contact us to learn how we can help your potato processing facility too.