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An Interview with Mr. Shripad Khatav, Managing Director of SS Techno Limited

Mr. Prasad Khatav, Director (on the left) & Mr. Shripad Khatav, Managing Director of SS Techno Limited (on the right).

1. Please tell us about SS Techno Limited.

SS Techno Limited is a company with a strong base of Technology and Innovation, led by Shripad Khatav and Prasad Khatav, who are Chemical Engineers by profession, with Management qualification. SS Techno Limited was founded between the years 2000- 2001 and offers Turnkey solutions based on “From Concept to Commissioning” for the Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) of Industrial Wastewater. Our company has successfully installed over 250 Nos of ZLD systems for Industrial Wastewater for almost all types of Industries in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa. Most of these solutions are highly innovative and have been implemented for the first time globally.

SS Techno has a Product Development Laboratory and Pilot Plants for application research, to develop profitable products from Industrial Waste. We believe that “Waste is a product out of place” New products have been derived from waste for the following industries: Palm Oil, Alcohol from Molasses, Pulp from Straw and Bagasse, Citrus Waste, Tea Waste, and etc. SS Techno also presents Technical Papers on the subject of Zero Liquid Discharge of Industrial Waste Water in various International Conferences.

2. What are the unique features of the ZLD system offered by SS Techno?

The ZLD technology by definition should ensure that “Not a drop of wastewater to discharge outside factory premises”. This arrests environment pollution to the land, surface water bodies – such as ponds, rivers, sea, and groundwater. SS Techno ZLD systems use mainly Evaporation, Crystallization & Drying technologies as the main workhorse and many other complementary technologies such as Biological Treatment, Reverse Osmosis, Bio Digestion, Advanced Oxidation, Solvent Stripping, Gas Scrubbing, and etc. as support. Every system is tailor-made and customized for the particular application.

SS Techno’s ZLD plant

There are two main products of a ZLD System:

  • Crystal Clear Water recycled for Process/Cooling Tower Makeup/Boiler Feed, etc. Water recycling enables the industry to save on freshwater consumption. Today, water is a precious commodity for many countries. There is enough information about how industrial wastewater discharged to water bodies creates a shortage of fresh water for human consumption and many times causes damage to life on earth.

  • Conversion of separated solid waste into Marketable Product. Depending on the type of industry, the solids separated in the ZLD system is processed to marketable products and can add revenue, offering payback on the investment. For Agro-Based or Agro-Processing industries, the solids extracted using the ZLD system in most cases is a marketable product.

3. Has SS Techno developed a ZLD technology for Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME)?

Palm Oil Mill is an Agro-Based Industry. Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) has a very high BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) and COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) values, and constitute a large pollution load to the environment. POME is stored in large lagoons. The only known treatment to reduce BOD and COD is to generate biogas from the lagoons. However, the challenge of discharge to the still environment remains unresolved.

With rich knowledge and vast experience, SS Techno has developed Advanced Technology to achieve ZLD for POME. We have supplied successfully two such Turnkey installations in India (Around 1 Million liters/day). One more installation is under execution in Sri Lanka. The plants are automated with computerized controls. The key benefits are as stated by the end-user are:

  • No POME needs to be discharged outside the factory.

  • No need for lagoon saving land space

  • No need for Biogas Plant

Palm Oil Mill Effluent

Raw POME from the mill is directly fed to the SS Techno ZLD system, which separates Crystal Clear Water and Solids. The water is recycled and Solids are sold as a good animal feed. The Solids also have another use as organic fertilizer with a rich amount of Organic Carbon and Potash.

Southeast Asia especially Indonesia and Malaysia contribute a Lions share in the global Palm Oil Mill production. SS Techno ZLD technology for POME treatment opens new vistas for additional revenue from POME and recycle the Crystal Clear Water or discharge water, which will meet DOE (Department of Environment) norms.

POME Solids – An animal feed

4. Southeast Asia has the world’s largest number of Palm Oil Mills. What are the distinct differences between SS Techno ZLD technology and other ZLD technology prevailing?

The technologies used today for POME treatment are not ensuring total ZLD. (No discharge of POME from premises). One of the most popular technology is Biogas Plants on POME storage lagoons/tanks. However, bio-digestion of POME only reduces the BOD; but does not cause ZLD. SS Techno ZLD Technology is unique in this sense. For mills who already have Biogas Plants, the POME after biodigesters can be also treated with the SS Techno ZLD scheme.

5. Could you elaborate on how SS Techno has emerged as a prominent name in ZLD technology and what are the challenges faced in your journey from inception?

ZLD market is a very strange market. The market survey shall show that there is a great potential globally. But in reality, an average customer shall go for ZLD implementation to meet Statutory Compliance or to mitigate social pressures — and nowadays for water recycle due to scarcity. Of course, there exist self-motivated industries with pro-environmental policies, who have implemented ZLD without any external pressures. At the beginning of the journey, SS Techno had to struggle to reach those few industries wanting to implement ZLD.

Crystal Clear Water from SS Techno ZLD plant

General resistance prevailed in the market for the investment in ZLD, which was seen as an unproductive expenditure. Over the last fifteen years, the scenario has changed. In India, for all industries, ZLD is a statutory compulsion today. Globally, today there is an increasing awareness on ZLD. Global Water scarcity and increase in water demand is also a major factor emerged of late. We are implementing projects in remote areas in Africa, Asia, and South America.

6. SS Techno has received many awards and recognition in National and International forums for the ZLD technology. What is the future innovation that Palm Oil Mill can expect from SS Techno?

As mentioned earlier, SS Techno has successfully implemented the ZLD technology for POME in India. Many global customers are showing keen interest and the future of ZLD in Palm Oil Mill looks promising. SS Techno is already implementing a project in Sri Lanka. Product Research wing of SS Techno is working on the development of many valuable products from POME solids. Some of the applications may be commercialized by the end of 2020.

7. What is SS Techno’s advice to players alike in the Wastewater Treatment Industry?

The potential market of Wastewater Treatment is so large, that every player shall have an adequate share. The companies should give an impulsive thrust on research and innovation to explore more efficient and cost-effective methods. Waste should be a means of revenue generation. Wastewater ZLD is a huge market in the emerging state. Man has caused severe damage to the environment as they say “Water is the next oil” Even it is often predicted that future wars shall be for water. This increases the ethical responsibility of wastewater treatment companies collectively to protect the environment and to save water


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