Carlos de Juan Álvarez

Interview with Carlos de Juan Álvarez, BIOBOX® Business Development Manager

Recently, the technical magazine has conducted an interview with Carlos de Juan Álvarez, BIOBOX® Business Development Manager:

Full interview:

BIOBOX® is the result of an intense R&D&I effort based on the experience and lessons learned by two leading companies in the sector, Ingeobras and Filtralite (Saint-Gobain). Both companies decided to combine their engineering and research knowledge to propose a disruptive approach to the classic container solution.

These systems use their own technology to create Plug&Play containerised plants for water treatment. These solutions are able to solve the limitations of traditional solutions; high process costs or rejections of concentrated pollutants that are difficult to manage.

BIOBOX® plants arise from the idea of making highly advanced technology available to all types of companies. Traditional water treatment plants are transformed into modular intelligent systems with self-management capacity and with a minimum need for intervention by operating personnel.

Carlos de Juan Álvarez, BIOBOX® product manager, explains all the details of this equipment.

Carlos, what are the BIOBOX® solutions for water treatment?

These are containerised solutions or compact solutions, based on the development of proprietary processes – mainly biofiltration and adsorption – highly sensorised and a proprietary filter, Filtralite® manufactured by Saint-Gobain.

The approach is to treat a series of classic problems and pollutants in drinking water, urban and industrial wastewater, providing greater efficiency in both costs and execution times, as well as in the sustainability of the solution.

contenedor BIOBOX de tratamiento de agua
BIOBOX® Compact Water Treatment Plant

How did this technology emerge and which companies are behind these solutions?

The technology was born from the collaboration between Saint-Gobain and Ingeobras. The need was detected to provide small and medium-sized users with high added value solutions that could solve their water quality problems, while at the same time being affordable in terms of investment and operating costs.

It can be said that it is similar to existing technology that is available in large plants but had not been “de-scaled” for small customers with this level of technification, digitalisation and innovation.”

What is the current scope of your service?

“We carry out the complete project cycle to offer a tailor-made solution. We work from the identification of the problem through the pilot phases in our laboratory. We can also carry out on-site engineering and construction of the plant and conclude with commissioning and O&M training for the technicians on site.

In parallel, some complementary services are offered, such as equipment rental, monitoring or remote technical assistance.

In terms of solutions, you have technology for the elimination of Nitrates, Iron and Manganese, Arsenic, Ammonium, Organic Matter and COD and a long etcetera …. can you give us more details?

It is true that we have a very complete portfolio of solutions. We have focused on 9 different types of compact plant to respond to the main problems, where we have a differential value for our customers with respect to the traditional technologies that currently exist.

This differential value comes from the reduction of investment and process costs, as I mentioned. But also the savings in water and energy losses, the non-generation of pollutant rejects or the elimination of membranes in the process with all that this implies.

The process for the removal of each pollutant is, of course, completely specific; We strongly rely – based on our many years of experience – on biofiltration processes in drinking water to remove or transform everything that is biodegradable: nitrates, ammonium and BOD. This is certainly a novelty.

Also, in addition to being a great carrier, our Filtralite® filter media is a perfect ally in tackling iron, manganese and other contaminants by adsorption.”

As far as we can see Carlos, the technologies are also combinable and can be used for both drinking and wastewater treatment. What are the advantages of these combinations?

“The combination of processes is key because it is very common to find water with several types of pollutants that need to be treated together. In our compact solutions we can combine several treatment steps in a single container.

For medium flow rates or high pollutant concentrations, the approach is to work in series or in parallel with two or more containers, offering the best possible solution.”

Finally, Carlos, who are your current customers and what references do you have in Spain?

“We are beginning to have a fairly consolidated market in the treatment of municipal drinking water. Especially in areas with nitrates, we already have a good number of plants operating with the BIOBOX® Nitrates system, such as those in La Eliana and Torrent, both in Valencia. We are also growing a lot in the industrial market, in sectors such as food, paper and agribusiness.

In BIOBOX®, we are also focused on LATAM countries such as Chile, Colombia and Mexico where we have already carried out projects and where we believe our technology has a lot to contribute”

Thanks to Carlos de Juan Álvarez and for this interview.