Industrial wastewater treatment – What processes are suitable for which industry?

Wastewater is produced in every industry. It is often contaminated with oils, sediments or chemicals. Specialised (filtration) solutions are required to clean this wastewater and then discharge it either into the environment or back into the production process. In this article, we present the most frequently used processes for industrial wastewater treatment and the solutions we can offer for different industries.

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Recycling and Processing

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What are the requirements for wastewater treatment in the industry?

Although wastewater is produced in every industry, it differs considerably in terms of the type of contamination, the degree of pollution and the quantity produced. While wastewater from private households and public facilities can be treated together in wastewater treatment plants, the treatment of industrial wastewater requires customised solutions for each industry and individual application. Industrial wastewater treatment therefore requires special expertise in filtration and the additional processes required.

Industrial wastewater treatment processes

Depending on the contamination of the wastewater, different processes are suitable for its treatment. A distinction is made between chemical, physical and mechanical treatment processes. In the former, chemical substances are added to simplify the separation of pollutants or fine particles dissolved in the water. Physical processes are used to separate water-insoluble substances. Mechanical separation with filter systems and sieves usually follows for final treatment. Mechanical pre-treatment is also often useful in order to protect the subsequent steps in the wastewater treatment plants. For this reason, a combination of different methods is usually used. In the following, we present the processes we use to reliably treat our customers’ wastewater.


The chemical flocculation process is used when the wastewater is particularly finely contaminated. If, for example, an equal surface charge and a corresponding mutual repulsion of the particles prevent the dirt particles from clumping together to form larger agglomerates, separation becomes more difficult. The use of so-called flocculants offers a solution to this problem.

Flocculants are chemical substances that enable the agglomeration of fine colloidal particles. The resulting larger macro-flocs sediment and can be filtered out of the wastewater more easily. This means that the flocculation of fine particles serves as a preliminary stage of filtration, dewatering or sedimentation processes. If flocculation makes sense as a process step for one of your filtration tasks, we can implement it in the project and optimally combine it with our filtration processes.


The sedimentation process utilises gravity to separate solids and is therefore one of the physical wastewater treatment methods.

Sedimentation is often used as a stand-alone, simple separation process in wastewater treatment plants. At our customers, the process is mostly used in the area of cooling lubricant treatment, in the form of a sedimentation tank with scraper discharge within an overall system. However, the physical process can also be used to supplement filtration in the area of wastewater treatment. Depending on your individual filtration task, sedimentation can be a possible solution.


The many different tasks in wastewater treatment can be solved using mechanical filtration, possibly with additional physical and chemical separation processes. During filtration, solids are separated from the water by passing the liquid to be cleaned through a filter medium, such as a fabric, a fibre fleece or a membrane.

Our experts have developed filter systems for a wide range of tasks in industrial wastewater treatment, for filter finenesses down to microfiltration (> 0.1 µm) and for variable filtration capacities. For example, particles, bacteria and yeasts are reliably separated. In addition to wastewater treatment, our filter systems are also used in many other areas of water treatment, such as the recycling of process water and the treatment of other emulsions and liquids.

We have summarised below which of our filter systems are best suited for wastewater treatment in various industries. Of course, every filtration task has its own requirements and prerequisites, and our filtration solutions are suitable for many other industries. You are therefore welcome to contact us with your task and we will work out a customised solution for your industrial wastewater treatment.

Wastewater treatment in the chemical and petrochemical industry

Wastewater treatment in the chemical industry faces special challenges. Wastewater standards are particularly strict here due to the sometimes environmentally harmful and unhealthy contamination. To fulfil the high requirements in the chemical sector, we have developed high-performance filtration solutions that ensure that the water cycle is as closed as possible and that the strict environmental regulations are met. You can find a complete overview of our water treatment solutions in this sector on our chemical sector page.

Our sieve basket filters are primarily used for the pre-filtration of wastewater and as protective filters for pipes, measuring devices and pumps. They are particularly suitable for coarser contaminants. The particles are retained in the filter basket; the degree of contamination can also be measured due to the resulting change in pressure.

Our automatic, self-cleaning filter systems are also available here as low-maintenance solution concepts. These filter systems are also in filtration mode during the cleaning phase. We adapt the number of filter cartridges individually to the respective area of application.

Our cartridge filters are used in the chemical industry for the microfiltration of fine to ultra-fine particles (> 0.1 µm) from wastewater. Depending on the structural design of the filter elements, they can perform surface or depth filtration. Cartridge filters are suitable for a range of applications and can be customised in various ways.

Our strainers are a good addition to the protection of pumps, measuring and control instruments in the chemical, petrochemical and refinery industries. They are inserted into the pipework through which the wastewater is transported and trap process- and wear-related contamination. The strainers offer a durable and economical solution for flow-through pipework systems with low levels of contamination.

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Waste water treatment plants for the energy sector

For energy plants, wastewater management is an important part of energy production. Industrial wastewater treatment must also fulfil strict environmental requirements and, of course, have a good cost-benefit ratio. With our customisable filtration solutions, we cover all other areas of water treatment in the energy sector in addition to wastewater treatment – you can find an overview on our page on water treatment in the energy sector.

Our sieve basket filters and automatic backflush filters for coarse and pre-filtration are also used in this industry. Our pre-filtration solution is ideal for preparing waste water produced during the production process for further treatment. Our cartridge filters are used for fine filtration.

Wastewater treatment in the oil and gas industry

Particularly in the oil and gas industry, special challenging filtration tasks can arise, such as filtration at high temperatures or adhering and highly viscous contaminants. Our slot-type filters have proven themselves for these industrial wastewater treatment tasks. They are a particularly robust and resistant solution. Our solution is used as a filter system for highly viscous media for one of our refinery customers, for example.

We have also developed solutions for extraction, washing and cooling water as well as injection and offshore feed water that close loops and prevent large quantities of unusable wastewater from being produced. You can find all solutions in this area on our page on water treatment in the oil and gas industry.

Waste water treatment in the rolling mill and steel industry

In addition to efficient rolling emulsion treatment, process and industrial water management is also of great importance in the rolling and steel industry. The main tasks are the filtration of ferritic impurities and scale particles from water circuits to protect pumps and nozzles and for cooling, as well as the filtration of rolling abrasion from emulsions and oils. The same filter systems can be used here for wastewater treatment as in the chemical industry and in the energy sector – naturally customised to the respective contamination and waste quantity.

Waste water treatment in the food industry

The food industry produces a wide variety of types of wastewater. From sludgy wash water with soil and plant residues to waste water contaminated with nitrate and starch – filtration solutions in this area must be particularly versatile.

One such all-rounder is our cartridge filter. The structure of our fine filtration solution can be adapted for a wide range of particle sizes, temperatures and dirt holding capacities and is therefore used for a variety of filtration tasks in food production.

Our automatic filters, especially our backflush filters, are also popular in the food industry. These are suitable for a wide range of media and contaminants and are therefore just as versatile.

FAUDI offers innovative solutions not only for wastewater treatment, but also for the filtration of product water, for example in breweries and the wider beverage industry. You can find an overview of all water filter systems in the food and beverage sector on our page on water filtration in the food industry.

Further areas of application for FAUDI wastewater treatment solutions

Our filter systems can be used for the efficient and reliable treatment of industrial wastewater in other sectors and areas of application – for example in the paper industry and all metalworking industries. Our filter systems are also used in sewage treatment plants. If you have an upcoming filtration task in wastewater management, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our experts will work out a customised solution for you.

Conclusion on industrial wastewater treatment

FAUDI offers customised solutions for the different wastewater treatment requirements of various industries. If the wastewater treatment tasks are more complex, we offer a combination of mechanical, physical and chemical treatment processes within a customised filter system for the specific filtration task. We will be happy to advise you on the best solution for your application.