Seven high-tech products extracted from cherries

2018-05-10


The perfect combination of scientists and entrepreneurs can always bring surprises - using biological waste treatment technology from China and the Netherlands, researchers from the "National Circular Economy Pilot Unit" Xiangchi Group can extract seven high-tech products with high added value from a cup of wastewater, including anaerobic granular sludge, soybean whey protein powder, microbial fertilizer, and refined natural gas.
The perfect combination of scientists and entrepreneurs can always bring surprises - using biological waste treatment technology from China and the Netherlands, researchers from the "National Circular Economy Pilot Unit" Xiangchi Group can extract seven high-tech products with high added value from a cup of wastewater, including anaerobic granular sludge, soybean whey protein powder, microbial fertilizer, and refined natural gas.
By monetizing its technology, this company has created a profit of 20 million yuan, making it one of the few companies in the Chinese business community that can still make profits by relying on industrial wastewater treatment.
Anaerobic sludge is the standard configuration for sewage treatment enterprises. It is a flocculent particle formed by microorganisms and inorganic substances under anaerobic conditions, mainly used for nitrogen and phosphorus removal in sewage. But facing hundreds or thousands of tons of sewage, the loss of anaerobic granular sludge is the biggest expense for environmental protection enterprises, such as Xiangchi needing to spend 2 million yuan annually to purchase sludge strains.
Parker, a multinational company headquartered in the Netherlands, has a unique skill: they can convert organic matter in industrial wastewater into biogas through the action of anaerobic bacteria for recycling, and thus create an efficient anaerobic reactor. By introducing Parker technology and "digesting, absorbing, and innovating", Xiangchi not only cultivated its own high-quality anaerobic granular bacterial strains, but also achieved external export.
The R&D personnel here have not stopped moving towards the goal of "extracting clean wastewater".
The waste from the main products, such as fructose wastewater and starch wastewater, is discharged into a regulating tank and pumped into an anaerobic reactor. Through the experience of its core technology, the "A/O activated sludge tank process", the "good things" are precipitated. Finally, through the two major processes of "sludge dewatering" and "aerobic sludge", high-quality organic fertilizers are produced.
Xiangchi is a leader in China's soybean deep processing industry. Xiangchi's family member Liu Lianmin said that whether it's cultivating anaerobic granular bacteria or "turning wastewater into organic fertilizer", these attempts are only part of the way to seek benefits from wastewater. During an interview, a reporter from Science and Technology Daily found that under the strong promotion of capital and technology, the "wastewater profit" model created here, which includes seven process paths, is approaching maturity.
Using biomass biogas for power generation is a common practice in the industry, but Xiangchi's researchers have broken the habit by purifying and decarbonizing biogas, and developing biomass gas for vehicles, resulting in a profit point of 7 million yuan.
As a leading Chinese grain deep processing enterprise, Xiangchi has a "real pain point" in seeking profits from wastewater: the content of organic suspended solids (protein residue) in its wastewater is high, and the composition of wastewater generated by different processing sectors is different, with significant differences in pH values such as acidity and alkalinity. The phenomenon of losing each other often occurs, resulting in mutual complaints between midstream industry companies and downstream environmental protection companies.