First industrial installation for SACMI’s revolutionary technology introduced to the market last September. At Ceramica Flaminia the new technology will treat 5000 cubic metres of water per year for recycling of both the water and the recovered raw materials for a sustainable production process.
The aim of SACMI’s new technology for the recovery and treatment of wastewater is to drastically reduce water consumption and, at the same time, entirely recycle it, together with the solid precipitate found in it, to be fed back into the production process. The innovative system was launched on the market a few months ago and the first plant has now been successfully installed and started up at Ceramica Flaminia at its headquarters in Civita Castellana.
How does it work? It is a two-stage process. First the wastewater is pre-treated to obtain a primary sedimentation. Next, a membrane ultrafiltration system comes into operation using crossflow filtration which, thanks to the specially designed filtering membranes, does not require the chemical additives normally used in solid-liquid separation and decanting processes.
The result is that the recovered water – in the case of Flaminia more than 90% in volume of the 5000 cubic metres treated – can be reused for a variety of purposes in the sanitaryware production process (such as, for example, mould washing during the high pressure casting process or in the glazing lines). In the same way, the recovered solid precipitate – in the past considered waste to be disposed of – can also be directly reused in the ceramic body and thus completely recycled.
The solution is SACMI patented – due to the crossflow ultrafiltration process being specifically applied to ceramic waste recycling – and is characterized by its modular set-up. In fact, after an initial running-in period for the new plant, Ceramica Flaminia plans to expand its capacity to meet the entire factory requirements through wastewater recovery and treatment.
From SACMI’s point of view, the solution is a breakthrough heralding a new approach to industrial water consumption. In fact, the new system can lead to an estimated saving in the consumption of freshwater of more than 70%. Furthermore, the possibility to fully recycle the solid precipitate, transforming it from waste product to resource for reuse in the production process, is a valuable opportunity for achievement of a circular economy.