Environmental and process assessment of a vibratory nanofiltration system for the recovery of water from soluble coffee manufacturing waste

Christian M. Wisniewski, Michael Vincent O. Laurio, C. Stewart Slater, Mariano J. Savelski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A case study has been conducted for the recovery of water from complex wastewater at a soluble coffee manufacturing factory. The study has evaluated separation methods for process intervention based on environmental and economic assessments. A novel vibratory field membrane separation was evaluated at the laboratory scale using actual factory wastewater, and was scaled-up using appropriate design protocols. The recovery of water from an intermediate waste stream proved the most effective, both environmentally and economically. The proposed full-scale vibratory membrane process recovers 378,541 L of water per day that meets specifications for reuse in the factory cooling tower. The proposed design reduced the daily well freshwater withdrawn by 21% and the amount of wastewater discharged from the factory by 28.5%. Annual operating costs were reduced by 22.5% and total life cycle emissions were reduced by 27.8%. These reductions are mainly the result of the reduced volume of wastewater discharged from the factory and the reduced energy requirement of the on-site pretreatment processes. Economic assessment showed a net present value after 10 years is $181,100, while the payback time is under 3 years. Overall, the proposed vibratory membrane process used for water recovery presents favorable economics, and significant environmental emission reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEnvironmental Progress and Sustainable Energy
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Science(all)

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