Archives: Tannery wastewater treatment projects

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COLOURING & LEATHER MAKING

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POTENTIAL: ECONOMICAL, LOW MAINTENANCE

Enhanced nutrient removal and replacing of expensive chemical neutralisation with affordable rich algae cultures

TANNERY PROCESS WATER

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LATENT ADVANTAGE: WASTE BENEFICIATION

Beneficial Spirulina biomass production and harvesting
Tannery wastewater treatment project, Dekker Biotech, South Africa
Leather tanning in progress...

Evaporation Algal Ponding is an 'eco-wise' effluent treatment technique for tannery process water with notable advantages

Leather tannery

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Archives:  Evaporation Ponds at Leather Tannery in SA

Evaporation ponding cascades with the application of a High Rate Algal Pond (HRAP).  The system received 500 m3/day of tannery effluent with a total evaporative surface area of 10 hectares, and HRAP of 2 500 m2.

Evaporation ponding cascades - Tannery wastewater treatment project, Dekker Biotech, South Africa
The green colour shows the successful establishment of a rich algal culture. Plant Operation took place under the guidance of Dekker Biotech's consultancy.  It has been closed a few years ago due to the termination of tannery operations.

This is a passive method and alternative to electrical mechanical intervention

The High Rate Algal Ponding System is not only economical but also requires low maintenance and operational costs.

Odour Control 

"Algae is potent in the control of odour compounds..."

The tannery wastewater treatment project shown (above and to the left) consisted of evaporation ponding cascades with the application of a High Rate Algal Pond (HRAP).  This is essential for effective odour control and treating the presence of heavy metal compounds.  This system specifically addressed odour through the cultivation of Spirulina and Dunaliella which in essence forms a layer at the top of the water surface called "photosynthetic oxygen capping".  The biological layer isolates and neutralises the odour compounds.

Anti-pollution biological degradation and waste-to-resource conversion:  The two most important advantages with high land use as the most notable drawback.

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Photo below:

The High Rate Algal Pond utilises sun energy for natural algae to produce oxygen that again causes COD breakdown.

Evaporation ponding cascades - Tannery wastewater treatment project, Dekker Biotech, South Africa

High-value biomass production

Even though spirulina is used in biological odour control, it can be harvested and sold or used as algal biomass.

Spirulina is a natural immune stimulant and contains unique phytochemical compounds with antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.  It may be an important ingredient for sustainable fish feed diets. Alternatively, it may again be applied in soil bioremediation or bioaugmentation.  Learn more:  Waste recovery into biomass.

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