Reducing biosolids disposal costs with a decanter centrifuge

A southern California dairy plant reached their cost savings and sustainability goals after selecting a decanter centrifuge and maintenance monitoring plan from Alfa Laval.

DATE 2023-11-28 AUTHOR Sheldon Young and Sipke Verbeek

In early 2018 Hollandia Dairy, a southern California manufacturer, processor, and distributor of wholesome dairy products, started investigating methods to eliminate the need to haul away biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant at their San Marcos, CA production facility. They were looking for a way to further reduce the environmental impact and cost to send ~25,000 lbs of biosolids that the wastewater treatment system produced daily to a specialized biosolids handling facility. 

Dewatering capabilities and a history of quality

After researching many methods of dewatering biosolids and visiting other wastewater processes in the area, Hollandia made a visit to nearby municipal wastewater treatment plants and witnessed Alfa Laval decanter centrifuges in action. The decanter centrifuge could produce a drier cake than other technologies and could be adjusted quickly with variable speed drives to accommodate for varying process conditions. With flexibility and performance being important, this would allow Hollandia the ability to adjust as process conditions required.

Hollandia Dairy Overhead.jpg
The optimal solution

After consulting Alfa Laval’s experts and running a sample test, they were convinced that Alfa Laval and the proposed Aldec 20 decanter centrifuge were the right choice for their process.  Alfa Laval worked with a long-time partner to package a skid system that required the customer only to provide flow piping, power, and a concrete pad for the skid with no need to purchase and install pumps, control panels, or other associated equipment.

After meeting the experts at Alfa Laval, my world became so much easier. I had someone that could guide me through the possible solutions, and during the process I learned so much about wastewater.

- Hank van Nieuwenhuyzen, COO of Hollandia Dairy

Upon start-up, the performance of the ALDEC 20 decanter centrifuge has proven to be performing better than the original target objectives. When combined with the extruder and dryer installed by Hollandia, the 25,000 lbs of biosolids produced each day are reduced to 1,200 lbs/day of dry solids.

The value continues after start-up

A critical factor for Hollandia in the decision to work with Alfa Laval was the support they knew they would receive long after the sale. During the start-up of the process, Alfa Laval field service technicians were on site providing oversight and guidance as the ALDEC 20 and surrounding equipment were put into service. They worked closely with plant personnel to ensure that they understood the operation of the equipment and that they could run the process effectively post start-up.

We have been so impressed with the process experts and field service team at Alfa Laval never felt any sales pressure, just a willingness to help me solve my problems. It’s like hiring a team of wastewater experts for Hollandia.

In addition, as part of the package provided, Alfa Laval’s exclusive Connectivity support service was deployed. This interactive system can allow Hollandia’s ALDEC 20 system to be monitored, and troubleshooting performed, remotely with the help of Alfa Laval expert service staff. The Connectivity service will collect process data that will be shared with the customer who will work together with Alfa Laval to design a preventative maintenance plan to help ensure optimum performance and trouble-free operation.

Hollandia Dairy (1 of 1)

Related product

Aldec decanter centrifuge

Smaller, low-tech ALDEC decanter centrifuges are ideal for loads of smaller wastewater treatment facilities looking for reliable, low-cost sludge dewatering.


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