Mobile Waste Treatment Systems - Worthwhile?

By Dr. Hans Valerius
December 2004

The Author is Director at Enigma Process Technologies Corp in Muntinlupa, Philippines. His company provides engineered solutions for laundry waste, hospital waste, animal blood, animal waste, palm oil mill waste etc. → See also:

Common Situations

Leaving the municipal waste treatment aside, although this part can be fully integrated in the example given here, the majority of companies in the production of food, beverages and other consumer products - have been given a very small budget to find ways and means to comply with the governments´ rules and regulations. Voluntarily, only a few do have the intention to contribute to a clean environment, the majority is only willing to undertake necessary steps when they are forced to do so. The burden naturally is on the engineer in charge of the waste treatment, who in return with a given budget, does not have a free hand to decide for the most economical and environmentally clean solution. In the worst scenario, the possible options to provide solutions for a waste problem are not all known, and the step to decide for some chemicals here and there is easily done, even applying such chemicals which in the so-called Western world are strictly taboo. The application of government rules and regulations, apart from the straight forward cases, are sometimes undermined by methods which will go beyond any ethical behavior. However, as long as such methods are practiced and not discovered, nature and generations after us are the ones who will suffer.

Healthy and technically sound steps to protect the environment from being overburdened with waste of any kind are not a matter of punishment - they are a matter of a healthy mind of any person with a minimum degree of responsibility for our society. To discharge pig manure into rivers and lakes, to contaminate in many cases the drinking water causing diseases and sometimes irreparable damage among the people, is not only outrageous - it also reflects ruthlessness of those that are doing it and especially of those who initiate and knowingly tolerate or instruct to do it.

Understanding that the market is competitive and that cost saving methods need to be applied, the step towards a happy go lucky free disposal of any waste does not contribute to anything - only to damage.

Management style and calculation methods are outdated when environment protection steps are booked as a burden. Admittedly such costs do not contribute anything to production, and in fact waste treatment is only a section in the overall production that requires spending money but not gaining money.
This is the basic attitude and the majority would probably agree.

In fact, companies that can easily recover the water to be used in the daily production, or utilize the solids from the waste treatment as animal feed or any other useful product, are plenty in the market. What stops them from doing something useful? The answer is difficult to give, in the first place any recovery from waste apparently does not appear in their books as money gaining matters, and as such the waste treatment will remain the unwanted burden in the production.

Being forced with a given budget, the basis for budgets are mostly not based on any realistic observation and fact finding elaborations but more on some sort of generous act of "donation", decisions are taken which are focusing on the presence rather than on the future. Rules and regulations will change and an attractive low cost solution can turn out to be a waste of money the moment these attractive solutions do not comply anymore with the given requirements.

Waste treatment - whether the simple separation of solids from liquid, decolorisation and other treatments - can in fact provide simple and long lasting solutions, although they might be higher in the initial investment costs than the given budget. Waste treatment is also not a calculation of turn over versus marketing costs; it is a serious matter with a high degree of responsibility.


The solutions that are available are ample, from simple systems to preventive measures to systems that provide the possibility to in fact utilize the selected equipment in more than one location making it a tool that can be used to a maximum extent.

We are referring to mobile waste treatment units here. Mobile waste treatment systems are not new in the market they are very common in Europe and the US.

What is the purpose of such a mobile unit and how does it work?

Mobile units are liquid-solid and/or liquid-liquid-solid separation devices mounted in a container or on a trailer with a defined sludge handling capacity fully independently operating that can move from one place to the other conducting waste treatment.

These units are fully equipped with all necessary equipment including conveyor systems for discharge of the solids.

They can be used either by a bigger group of companies for their treatment of waste at the various locations or they can be used for any treatment of waste from the various industries. The later one actually is the basis for an independent business which means money is invested in such equipment and services to treat sludges are made available while such services are charged by cubic meter of treated waste.

What is the advantage?

The advantage is that companies that need to invest into waste treatment systems do not have to spend the money in the usual way, they only spend when the services of such mobile treatment systems are used which can be on daily, weekly or even monthly occasion. No operator needs to be employed for the operation of such equipment, no hassle with maintenance and overhauling of equipment no complicated accounts procedures.

Our answer, our solution means your benefit.

The solution is basically a simple one as stated. A good example to explain more into detail is the car rental business.

We rent a car within our budget range for a certain period of time.

What do we spend money for?

For the petrol and for the car rental company, the rental rate per day, week, month whatever we decided for.

What is our benefit? Our benefit is we have a car which we need to do whatever we planned 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We drive it, take care that we are not involved in any accident, although covered by insurance, and return it subject to the agreement pay our rental fee and all is settled. Should it happen that in between there is an unexpected technical problem, we simply replace it, and we even don´t have to worry how and where to replace the car, the car rental company is coming to you and within minutes you can continue with your planned journey.
If we don´t like the car we replace it with another model on basis of the same or sometimes new conditions.

Interruption took only a few minutes, no visit to repair shop, no payment of repair costs, no waiting for the service, no precious time wasted.

This simple example can be found in many other areas too, more or less on the same basis, we can even rent computers and many more.

Not only that the rental system creates a better cash flow within the company it also has a positive contribution to the economy. Companies can be formed to provide this rental service. New job opportunities are created, not necessarily so much job opportunities for the general workers but job opportunities for skilled staff.

Within a short period of time a mushroom growing industry can emerge.

Trucks equipped with liquid-solid separation equipment can drive across the country to solve the filtration requirements of companies that without that service would have been forced to invest in such equipment although it was not daily used. Companies with several production sites can use such a system to avoid spending more money for individual stationary versions for each production site.

Basically two options are created with this mobile service facility:

  1. For companies with only a few required filtrations.
  2. For companies with permanent filtration requirements and several production sites.

How does that work in general?

For case 1: Whenever a company requires the specific product to be separated the rental service is called in. Nothing required to be done by the company; everything is left to the rental service. After the work is done the company is charged by cubic meter that was treated.

For case 2: For companies with permanent filtration requirements and several production sites the basic procedure is the same except the charging method is different and the costs remain within the company and their accounts system.

In general the savings for option 1 are tremendous:

What does the rental service offer in addition to the above savings?

What is the equipment that is suited most for such services in filtration?

In previous years it was common to use so-called filter presses equipped with expensive filter elements and rather heavy equipment plus messy operation.

Years of development and application of new technologies have changed the overall picture. The decanter is the most suited equipment for such filtration purposes.

The advantages are:

Among all the existent equipment choices that could be used none except the decanter can provide all these advantages.

Where to use such equipment and rental service?

For the daily or weekly rental:


Mobile Sludge Treatment Device equipped with a Decanter
The above photo shows a typical mobile sludge treatment device equipped with a decanter


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