Printech Archive
Re: Treatment of Wastewater for Reuse; Flexo Printer

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From: Wayne Pferdehirt (
Date: Thu Feb 05 1998 - 09:54:18 CST

Forwarded from Richard Illig, at PA DEP;

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 1998 09:34:52 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Richard Illig (717) 327-3568" <>
Subject: Wastewater Reuse at Flexo Printer

    Your mention of paste caught my attention...we visited a box
    manufacturer with a "starch kitchen" (I'm hoping for

    There appeared to be options for water reuse from a couple areas.
    The starch kitchen generated its own waste water...there seemed to
    be no reason this water could not be reused in production of the
    next batch, while saving on some raw materials, with reformulation
    of the starch mixture. [An interesting note about the starch
    waste water was that our water quality folks felt the local
    treatment plant should pay for the waste water...the starch being
    a "food" for the treatment plant "bugs".]

    Our facility also used a vacuum drum (again, I wonder how similar)
    (with diatomaceous earth) in their wastewater treatment
    system...this is very inefficient. The d-earth adds directly to
    the waste stream. The vacuum drum used a large amount of water
    simply to operate. The water used to operate the vacuum drum was
    discharged (this plant had a sewer connection). There appeared to
    be no reason this water could not be reused in the starch kitchen,
    or other processes (ink wash, general cleaning, recirculated to
    the drum) assuming the treatment system couldn't be upgraded.

    Other than the treated water carried some color from inks (not
    viewed as a problem by the facility), there seemed to be no reason
    why the water could not be reused in the starch kitchen again with
    some reformulation of the starch recipe (at this point we had the
    kitchen flooded!!) The expected excess water was not really too
    bad...emphasis was placed on upgrading the wastewater treatment
    system to emilinate the waste water from the vacuum drum, and some
    reuse in cleaning (both general and inks) helped to balance the
    excess. Monitoring of water used in ink/machine cleaning process
    to minimize this waste stream was also expected to help.

    I realize you indicated a bacterial problem which seems to need
    tackled first. I heard no mention of this as a problem at the
    facility we visited, which makes me wonder how much they knew
    about the starch process. [by the way, the facility was
    re-investing in a new starch operation which left open doors for
    considering starch reformulation, piping changes, potential future
    improvements in the ww treatment system (more piping), and a
    starch silo for bulk shipments (eliminated a lot of packaging
    waste and improved a bad history of worker back problems from
    lifting heavy sacks).]


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