© Eureka Industries

Essilor loops the water loop

Posted on 03 November 2016.

In the Essilor plant in the Marne area of France, Veolia employs circular economy principles in a water recycling loop which allows the site to significantly reduce its consumption.

The process recycles 57 m3 of effluent per day, with a yield of 70%.

Essilor is an optical lens production specialist. Among its many plants all across the world, the one in Sézanne, in the Marne area of France, benefited from a major circular economy innovation in 2011.

Reducing its "water footprint"

The production of optical lenses requires large amounts of water. On the Sézanne site 55,000 m3 of water are needed for the annual production of 9 million lenses.

Every day, sixty-nine 800 liter tanks are filled. The water is heated and the molds used in the manufacture of the lenses are immersed in it. During the process, organic granules form around the molds. The water is thereby contaminated and cannot be reused as it is.

Essilor wanted to reduce its water footprint and so called on Veolia.

Recycling loop

After two years of tests and studies, in 2011 Veolia developed a recycling loop. It includes a biological reactor) and a 0.1 μ ceramic membrane filter.

The water polluted with organic material residue is fed into a storage area on the site. It first passes through the biological reactor in which bacteria destroy the fine particles of organic matter and then goes through the filter which separates out the solid residues.

Having completed the circuit, the water can be directly reused in the industrial process. Previously this wastewater went straight into the city’s wastewater system.

In total, this process recycles around 70% of the 57 m3 of effluent produced daily.

On the path to industrial ecology

This technology perfectly meets Essilor’s desire to limit its water consumption. In addition it means it embraces a true industrial ecology approach.


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