The food processing industry consumes relatively high volumes of water for different purposes (production, cleaning, heating and cooling). Beside, wastewater discharged from the production process has high organic load. The industry has huge potential for water conservation and reuse if audited properly.
This paper presents the results of water consumption auditing and identifying water consumption centres in a margarine production line in Serbia. Based on the results of the auditing and performed technological and economic feasibility studies, several measures related to reducing water consumption and increasing water reuse in production process were proposed, implemented and valuated. Implemented the measures the company significantly reduced specific water consumption (from 2.71 m3/t of produced margarine to 0.71 m3/t of produced margarine in two-year period). The study shows that water management activities (as a comprehensive and systematic approach for reducing water consumption, increasing water reuse and reducing wastewater creation) are environmentally and economically feasible in a margarine production company.
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