Water, an essential resource for the planet
Tereos is recovering water from industrial processes and storing it to use for testing machinery or irrigating fields. In all the regions in which Tereos operates, the plants are examining their processes to make them even less reliant on water from the natural environment (including groundwater and river water).
The ‘Sustainability’ plan, deployed as part of the “Ambitions 2022” program, has motivated our Business Units to go further to take stock of their procedures.
In Brazil, Tereos plants are also mobilizing to reduce their water consumption. In addition, TSEB launched the GOTA program (management, optimization and water treatment). As part of this program, each stage of sugar, ethanol and energy production are examined to determine how water use could be limited. The evaluation also makes it possible to identify opportunities to reuse waste water.
Some improvements are already in place
Reusing waste water is not a new idea. At Tereos, we have already taken concrete measures to reuse our waste water. For instance, we recover condensed water from the manufacturing process after raw materials such as sugar beet or sugarcane are processed.
At the Saragossa plant in Spain, a reverse osmosis plant has been providing high-quality water since 1999. This water purification technology is used in particular to remove ions (salts), small particles and potential microbes from borehole water. Thanks to this system, the Saragossa plant has dramatically reduced its water consumption from the natural environment.
However, recovering condensed water raises new challenges. Philippe Boitard, responsible for water management at the TSF Industrial Division, stresses that “at the moment, reuse requires storing all this water to be used again. It is actually produced during harvest but used in the inter-harvest period”.