Industrial waste water and ZLD

Waste waters are a necessary evil associated with industrial activity. Treatment and disposal of these waste waters is often an expensive and difficult exercise. In view of the statutory requirements, local conditions and non-availability of data regarding secondary and tertiary effects, Zero Liquid Discharge is often considered a viable way forward. However, ZLD involves significant capital and operating costs. We, at Geist Research believe that industrial waste waters offer an untapped potential for adding to the bottom line as well as the green credentials of the industry.

Concept of Profit from Zero Liquid Discharge

Chemical manufacturing and processing industries are large polluters. They consume copious amounts of fresh water and generate equal amounts of waste waters. Normally these waste waters are treated in conventional ways comprising of some or all of aerobic, anaerobic, polishing, carbon filters, Multi Effect Evaporators (MEE), and finally incineration steps. All these steps have various capital and operating costs associated with them and essentially convert one waste to another to meet the statutory norms.

Geist has developed new technology platforms that enable:

  • Recover pure chemicals from these “waste” streams. More than one pure chemical can be recovered from single stream
  • The residual water can be recycled back to the parent process to achieve zero liquid discharge
  • The cost of recovery of these chemicals is typically 10-50% of the price of these chemicals, thereby making the whole project highly profitable with payback period ranging from a few months to max. 2 years
  • Zero discharge makes statutory compliance much easy. Prevents secondary and tertiary damage which is difficult to quantify even with streams matching the norms.
  • Creates space for expansion of activities and adds to the bottom line in a highly competitive environment.



  • Recovery of chemicals in commercially pure form for recycle or sale
  • Savings in the cost of treatment of “waste waters”
  • Due to complete recycling of water, drastic reduction in need for purchase of fresh water


  • Statutory compliances and associated concerns become irrelevant
  • Eliminates the need of land for secure landfill
  • Enables industry location at a place where water discharges are not allowed


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