Dewatering the market: Aqseptence Group

Phil Amor, Aqseptence Group Business Development Manager, explains how high solids separation is key to unlocking the economic growth potential inherent in food waste.

The National Food Waste Strategy estimates that food waste costs the Australian economy $20 million each year.

From the inverse perspective, a 2019 report by accounting firm Ernst & Young found that better recycling technology could grow Australia’s economy by $324 million a year.

While waste reduction is the central driver of most comprehensive waste strategies, rising technological efficiency in the resource recovery space suggests a growing economic opportunity.

Phil Amor, Aqseptence Group Business Development Manager, says recycling food waste can be a challenging process, given stringent government regulations rapid degradation rates.

As such, effectively capturing the economic potential of the material requires efficient and high-capacity processing equipment, he says.

“As a core component of the food waste recovery process, quality solids separation and dewatering via trommel screens is critical for the delivery of high-quality outputs,” Phil says.

He adds that the key to effective dewatering is high rates of solids capture.

“When dealing with organics solid separation, operators require a very efficient trommel screen to facilitate high-quality separation rates,” Phil says.

“The sheer force of the Contra-Shear Milliscreen, for example, ensures aggressive pumping and solids capture.”

The Contra-Shear Milliscreen is designed and manufactured in Australia by Johnson Screens.   

Contra-Shear Screens consist of a Johnson Screens Vee-Wire drum with an internal feed tank.

“Flow passes into the internal tank before it overflows into the weir. The internal feed tank then controls velocities and reduces the force of the flow onto the drum,” Phil says.

“The Contra-Shear Milliscreen force generation allows solid separation at a faster rate than typical trommels, which makes it time and cost-efficient.” Phil says.

“Additionally, it has a capture efficiency of up to 95 per cent for solids greater than aperture sizing, with flow rates up to 3360 cubic metres per hour in a single unit.”

According to Phil, fundamental to the separation process is the “Contra-Shear” action, which is produced by rotating the direction of the screen drum in the opposite direction, relative to the direction of the influent flow.

“Although there are imitations in the market, the Contra-Shear Milliscreen is exclusively an Aqseptence Group product,” Phil says.

He adds that customers should purchase genuine Contra-Shear Milliscreens from Aqseptence Group to avoid disappointment.

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Finlay: customisable compost

When landscape supply company Corbet’s Group required a new trommel screen for its commercial compost yard, it enlisted the help of Finlay Screening, Crushing and Recycling Systems.

The history of composting is difficult to track, but reports suggest humans have been engaging in the process for over 10,000 years. According to the Complete Book of Composting, the first ‘written’ account of composting can be traced back to the reign of King Sargon during the Akkadian Dynasty.

While composting is a natural process, the sale of organic matter on a commercial basis requires companies to meet strict standards and regulations. For this reason, Corbet’s Group General Manager Andrew Corbet places significant stock in the screening and separation process.   

“An effective trommel screen is crucial to a business like ours given the potential for contamination. You can’t take any chances with the sale of organic material to the public,” Andrew says.

Corbet’s Group, a family-owned logistics and landscape supply business, has been in operation for more than 40 years.

“We produce compost and potting mix with a range of organic materials including topsoil, manure, bark, grass clippings and food waste,” Andrew says.

“Our Sunshine Coast compost yard produces upwards of 5000 yards of compost every month, which we sell to landscapers, bagging companies and large-scale national stores like Bunnings.”

Corbet’s Group produces more than five varieties of compost, meaning flexibility and quick drum change capability were primary concerns for Andrew when making his latest trommel purchase.

“Our products range from potting mix derived from composted bark and minerals, composted green waste for soil conditioning, slash bark for low density media bases and a whole range of other customisable compost products,” Andrew says.

According to Andrew, the Terex Environmental Equipment range, which includes shredders, trommels, recycling screens, waste handlers, grinders and window turners, helps Corbet’s Group effectively manage its processes.   

“We’ve had a number of trommels over the years, quite a few different brands actually, but Terex certainly works more effectively and flexibly in my view,” Andrew says.

Finlay, a specialist supplier of screening and processing equipment for the waste recycling industry, is the exclusive dealer of Terex Environmental Equipment.

Andrew has been a customer of the company for many years, having previously purchased crushing and screening equipment from Finlay Sales and Hire Manager Ronnie Bustard in 2015.

“Not long ago, when Andrew was speaking to me about maintenance for an old piece of crushing equipment, he mentioned the company would soon need a new trommel screen for their compost yard,” Ronnie says.   

“I suggested the Terex TTS 620 tracked trommel and offered to bring it to the Sunshine Coast for a demonstration. It went really well so Andrew made the purchase. It was all very straightforward.”

Andrew says after acquiring the machine, Ronnie and other members of the Finlay staff trained his operators on how to operate, service and maintain the trommel.

“They went the extra mile by coming up here and making sure my staff knew how to operate the equipment,” Andrew says.

“I’m also sure Ronnie and the team would come to the site if we had any problems, but the trommel runs smoothly every day. We’ve had no issues.”

Andrew says he also purchased multiple aperture barrels, which Ronnie fitted to the new trommel before carrying out tonnage tests.

“The trommel drum has a really quick change out time – it only takes a few minutes before we’re up and running again to screen a new material load,” Andrew says.

“The feeder control system continually adjusts its speed, which means we can process compost at a higher efficiency rate than before.”

Ronnie says the TTS 620 trommel enables application flexibility and it can be utilised for any sort of organics screening.

“All the conveyors are built to a modular design which allows each one to be removed independently and easily configured to various applications. It also means the machine is easy to maintain,” Ronnie says.

“The TTS 620 Terex trommel uses less fuel than standard trommel screens because it has a highly efficient engine. It also has a combined hydraulic drive system enabling advanced material processing control.”

According to Ronnie, the trommel screen’s swing out engine cradle gives operators unrestricted ground level access to all service components, while hinged doors on both sides of the drum offer unobstructed access for maintenance and cleaning.

Andrew says another contributing factor to his decision to enlist Finlay was its spare parts servicing.

“They offer fast and efficient turnaround on aftermarket spare parts – whatever make or model, they have you covered,” Andrew says.

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