With groundwater in water-stressed Lahore, Pakistan, falling by around a metre a year, the AB Mauri yeast factory in the city is using the latest water management system to separate waste water from reusable water while creating a feedstock for organic fertiliser.
The high-pressure reverse osmosis membrane system installed in 2019 separates organic-matter-enriched concentrate, which is supplied for organic fertiliser manufacturing, while the rest is recovered as clean water.
There are clear circular economy benefits to the process. The waste water is transformed to a high-quality permeate, enabling an average 25% of the total permeate generated to be reused on-site – amounting to over 7,500 m3 since the introduction of the new treatment system in November 2019. In addition, the solids are transformed into organic fertiliser for commercial use by a local manufacturer, which reduces the environmental impact from the yeast factory and provides a useful raw material. Over 13,000 tonnes of fertiliser have been donated to date.
The plant has not only met local water discharge regulations but has also delivered positive impacts in terms of saving water and safeguarding local supplies for the future, especially as studies are showing that the water table is falling significantly.
AB Mauri’s site is used as a reference by the Punjab Environment Protection Department to encourage local industries to treat their waste water and to set a good example to other international companies in the region.
Looking ahead, the Lahore facility aims to recycle all the process waste water generated to use 50% on-site and 50% for local government landscaping.