Herefordshire-based H Weston & Son have been producing award-winning cider for 140 years.
Large volumes of water are involved in the washing and processing of apples in the making of their cider, producing approximately 50m3 of effluent sludge per day at their facility.
The family-owned business uses traditional methods in its cider making process, including screw presses for sludge de-watering, one of which was proving problematic.
An old screw press had become mechanically unreliable and was passing a lot of solids back into the effluent plant as the fines in the filtrate often passed through the screen. The cake dry solids were only in the region of 15–16%.
The screw press was proving expensive to maintain and could not be relied upon to process the next apple harvest, so an immediate solution was required.
The new dewatering solution had to integrate with the company’s existing onsite effluent treatment plant which consisted of physio-chemical treatment, DAF and an advanced biological treatment process. The dewatering solution had the added complication of having to be delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was made to undertake a trial with a Hiller DP31-422 Decapress Centrifuge in the form of a rental unit.
The results spoke for themselves:
From a highly variable feed of 1–6% dry solids and a feed rate 2–5 m3/hr:
- Cake solids increased to the 25 – 29% dry solids range
- Centrate was less than 50 ppm
Following the trial, MSE Hiller installed a new DP31-422VABD with a FWA600 fully automatic liquid polymer make-up unit. The installation was completed in July 2020 and was done in a COVID-19 secure environment and in time for the next apple harvest.
A delighted H Weston & Son’s plant manager reported that “The installation has worked exceptionally, well just in time for the 2020 apple harvest.”