In 2018 Global Water Engineering organization – headed by Chairman and CEO Jean-Pierre Ombregt – celebrated the successful completion of more than 400 anaerobic digestion plants around the world. For over 27 years GWE has transformed organic industrial wastewater and waste into biogas to reduce dependence on fossil fuels of its customers.
Global Water Engineering name change to Global Water & Energy (GWE) started in 2018, to better reflect its growing emphasis on not only attaining wastewater quality improvements down to strictest standards by means of anaerobic digestion, followed by aerobic polishing and other technologies, but also on the significant increase of the biomass waste-to-energy valorization plants that bring profit to GWE’s clients around the world.
One of our big claims to success is that not only we clean up the environment, but also, we turn what was previously a costly waste disposal problem into an ongoing bottom-line profit for companies adopting it,” said Mr. Ombregt.
“Once the wastewater-green energy plant is paid for – often in 2-5 years – it can go on producing reliable base-load power for much longer period, providing a remarkable ROI and improvement in bottom-line profitability,” said Mr. Ombregt, whose RAPTOR® technology has been recognized with a green energy award by well-known International Chemical Engineering Association, IChemE, representing more than 40,000 chemical engineers worldwide.
The RAPTOR® process is a total solution that allows conversion of almost any organic residue (waste) or energy crop into bio-gas.
It can be used in any food, beverage, agribusiness, manufacturing or processing plant with a biological waste stream. Industries benefiting range from agribusiness and crop processing plants, through to meat, fish, dairy and industrial food and beverage processing facilities, including dozens of breweries and scores of factories focused on pineapple, cassava, snack foods and a whole spectrum of top 20 food products globally.
Organic waste streams are digested by anaerobic bacteria under ideal controlled conditions in reactor tanks and turned into methane to be used as fuel for electric power generators or to replace fossil fuels in steam boilers and heaters on the production site.
Companies in Asia, Africa, America, Australasia and Europe already benefit from the bio gas released to replace fossil fuels used in their steam boiler processes, thus curtailing the use of bunker oil fossil fuel at prices currently (June 2018) exceeding $450 a ton.
Some companies use the bio-gas produced to power generators to produce electricity for decentralized power plants benefiting both the company involved and local communities. Such decentralized power production helps fulfill a United Nations goal to end energy poverty by 2030 by accelerating investment in decentralized renewable energy that does not have the environmental impact of fossil fuel plants and which also does not suffer the losses of transporting electricity over distances.
Besides the inherent environmental benefits, organic waste-to-energy plants are an excellent option for the companies to simultaneously deal with waste more sustainable and increase their profitability.
GWE’s advanced anaerobic processes – which are a 21st century distant relative of the way dinosaurs converted food in their gut into energy results in water quality improvements of up to 99% removal of COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) in some cases, and more than 95% in many others. The same high-efficiency process works with wastewater, as well as solid wastes.
The high water quality figure means that the effluent water coming out of the factory or processing plant is often not only much cleaner than when it went in, but better than the water streams into which it is released, so there is a significant gain for the environment, says Mr. Ombregt.
“While green energy alternatives such as wind power and solar power get most of the headlines for their achievements, the GWE anaerobic digestion processes are even more suited to the industry in many instances, given that it provides reliable base-load fuel and power, and simultaneously treats wastewater to high discharge standards. This is one of the reasons we are re-branding our proven successful technologies as GLOBAL WATER & ENERGY (GWE), reflecting our expanding global role in industrial wastewater treatment, water reuse, solid waste treatment, and green energy solutions provider to the global marketplace. To that end, GWE offers state-of-the-art technologies to assist industries and private owners in their efforts to grow while reducing the costs of doing business.
“The strengths of GWE environmental technologies are solving one of the biggest challenges of the modern industry, which is waste generation and reduction of the fossil fuel dependency.” – Jean-Pierre Ombregt, GWE Chairman and CEO