Saving water: full water recycling for a cosmetics manufacturer

Saving water: full water recycling for a cosmetics manufacturer

Access to clean water is a basic requirement for efficient production. However, in Brazil, many regions suffer from acute water shortages. Appropriate water technology ensures that the available water is used sustainably.

In order to adapt production to local conditions, we analysed all the water and wastewater flows at the customer's production site in Brazil. We answered the following questions:

  • What wastewater streams are generated?
  • Do they contain resources that can be cost-effectively recycled?
  • Can the wastewater streams be used for energy production (e.g. biogas production or heat recovery)?
  • What water qualitiy grades are required at the site (e.g. for irrigation, cleaning or reuse in production)?

A water and wastewater register was created for the entire factory. Two main wastewater streams were identified:

  • Predominantly inorganically contaminated wastewater from supply circuits: backwash water, reclaimed water from the water softening plant, and purge water from the cooling tower and boiler.
  • Predominantly organically contaminated wastewater from manufacturing cleaning processes.

A treatment concept was developed based on laboratory and pilot-scale tests. The organically contaminated wastewater is treated with the Biomar® OMB membrane biological process. The outflow from the biological treatment stage undergoes a secondary treatment, with submerged membranes to further improve the quality of the treated wastewater.

Dissolved and undissolved salts are pre-filtered from the inorganic wastewater using a multimedia filter and separated in a downstream Envopur® reverse osmosis process. The resulting concentrates are evaporated.


A smart concept and first-class plant solution enable water to be used in an energy-efficient and sustainable way. And it is economically vialble even with small amounts of wastewater.

  • 90% wastewater recycling for re-use in production
  • Modular plant concept for water recycling at performance of 1–100 m³/h
  • Production site secured despite water shortage
  • Quality assurance through wastewater technology preassembled and tested in Germany
  • Modular system that is easily extended or adapted to changes in conditions.

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