Knouse Foods, one of the largest apple processors in the world, specializes in products such as pie fillings and apple sauce. The company operates six processing plants in two states that are devoted to producing the finest and freshest fruit products. Its headquarters plant in Peach Glen, Pennsylvania, USA, processes apple products most of the year, as well as peaches and cherries (when in season) for the Musselmann’s and Lucky Leaf brands.
Knouse Foods needed a solution to responsibly manage organic food waste and wastewater from its fruit processing. The environmentally-conscious company didn’t just want to dispose of the waste; it wanted to turn what would otherwise be wasted into something of value. By investing in on-site anaerobic digestion technology, Knouse Foods could tap into the power of biogas, helping the environment—and the fruit processor’s bottom line.
Evoqua's ADI Systems was contracted through a consultant to provide its wastewater treatment expertise for the project at Knouse Foods' Peach Glen plant.
The treatment system consists of a 2.35 MG low-rate ADI-BVF® reactor for anaerobic pretreatment followed by an ADI® membrane bioreactor (MBR) system for aerobic polishing. This process train was chosen after a successful five-month comparative pilot study conducted at the plant that demonstrated the benefits of ADI Systems' technology compared to a major competitor.
The new treatment system that Evoqua's ADI Systems designed for Knouse Foods is addressing by-products of its manufacturing operations, helping the fruit processor achieve environmental compliance. The combination of technologies generates a high-quality final effluent that meets strict discharge limits while keeping operating costs low.
As an added benefit, the anaerobic digestion system also produces power through biogas utilization to reduce the plant's fuel consumption. Food waste from two other Knouse Foods plants is trucked in and treated in the new system to maximize the amount of biogas that can be generated in the anaerobic digester and utilized in the genset.