Siltbuster Process Solutions (SPS), in collaboration with Suez, a global leader in the waste water sectors, has developed a modular water treatment solution for fertiliser manufacturer Yara Italia, providing clean water from a highly variable natural source.
Working closely with Suez Water Technologies & Solutions (formerly GE Water), SPS has successfully provided up to 540m3/hr of clarified waste water for Suez’s Build-Own-Operate plant at Yara Italia’s production facility in Ferrara, Italy.
The site, which is located in the heart of the Po valley, is the market leading producer of ammonia and urea fertilisers for agriculture and industry. Suez was contracted to provide the site with demineralised water for the manufacturing process, abstracting raw water from the river Po.
SPS was called in to relieve the pressure on Yara’s existing clarifier, which was already treating approximately 1000m3/hr, and more importantly, to provide a dedicated, high quality water supply.
Dr Chris Bullen, Technical Manager at SPS, explains the challenges of the early stages of the project, when it became clear that the characteristics of the raw water varied significantly: “The river water turbidity can range from less than 20NTU to over 3000NTU within a short period of time. This, coupled with seasonal changes to the characteristics of particulates in the waste water, added to the challenge of coming up with a robust solution.”
As the project commenced, it became apparent that a pilot trial was required in order to arrive at the correct long-term solution. This was achieved by deploying one of SPS’ mobile lamella clarifier units, complete with integrated coagulation/flocculation tanks. It was essential that the pilot unit remained on site for long enough to capture the variable conditions, and during this period, it was operated by Suez’s dedicated site team led by Fabio Armanna, with the technical support provided by SPS.
The trial concluded that satisfactory water quality (less than 5NTU) could be reliably and consistently achieved, under highly variable conditions, with the use of the lamella clarifiers. The trials also confirmed that incorporating a means of recirculating settled solids from the bottom of the clarifier hopper back into the mixed reaction tank, to combine with the feed water, improved the stability of the process and quality of treated water.
Dr Bullen explains: “The findings of this piloting work enabled us to confirm the design of the full-scale process, which required three process streams, each with a mixed chemical reaction tank carefully coupled with a Siltbuster HB200R Lamella Clarifier. The design also needed to comply with stringent structural design requirements to comply with the Regulatory Authorities’ requirements for the Seismic Area. The strength of the partnership approach meant that Suez’s local project team led by Maurizio Colombo were able to use Siltbuster’s design drawings to liaise with the Italian Authorities regarding these aspects, to secure the necessary approvals.”
Reliability is essential for water treatment in remote communities
Delivering high quality water supplies to remote communities can be a considerable challenge for water authorities, but a combination of expert engineering skills and innovative process control equipment has delivered a solution. Ross-shire Engineering (RSE) is using mass flow controllers from Bürkert to ensure pH levels are maintained at optimum levels.
Water treatment processes are used to remove impurities, both biological and chemical, as well as balance pH levels. In the vast majority of installations, on-site staff can monitor and maintain the equipment to ensure continuous operation. However, in remote locations, regular on-site interventions are not practicable, so reliability has to be built-in to the equipment.
Setting the standard
RSE is a market-leader in the design, fabrication and delivery of innovative modular water treatment plants to supply high quality water to remote communities. Using specialist processes, such as reverse osmosis, Nanofiltration and Ultrafiltration, and automated process control equipment, the company is an expert in developing and delivering robust and reliable water treatment plants for their clients.
Water quality is determined by standards and specifications and it is the responsibility of the local water authority to deliver these standards. Significant geographical areas within the UK experience high pH levels within their surface water, due to organic matter within the soil, so there is a need for a simple and reliable control process.
RSE uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to reduce the pH of the water to increase the mineral content through reaction with limestone/remineralisation media. Primarily, it is a gas that is easy to handle, non-corrosive and its most appealing feature is that it will not lower the pH of water below 4.0. In addition, the only maintenance required for the dosing system is to replenish the gas cylinders periodically.
The design and parameter settings for the pH control process are determined by the local water authority. On each site the process control loop consists of a pH sensor, some solenoid control valves and a mass flow controller (MFC) supplied by Bürkert.
A Bürkert Type 8711 MFC is used in each application. In contrast to a simple flow control device, the measurement is independent of pressure and temperature, making it more accurate in varying conditions. When used with CO2, the Type 8711 has an impressive nominal flow range, from 0.02 LN/min up to 40 LN/min.
The MFC is calibrated by Bürkert for the gas being controlled before it is delivered to the customer. For those involved in more complicated applications, the Type 8711 can be set up to measure two different gases.
In this application, the changeover solenoid valves control the CO2 bottle banks to provide a duty/standby changeover system. The CO2 gas flowrate is accurately adjusted to control the target pH of the water treatment works using Bürkert’s Type 8711 MFC.
Craig Kerr, Sales Manager for Bürkert, explains: “Bürkert has been chosen to supply these components because of their easy integration, accuracy and reliability. Operating in such remote locations and providing such a vital service, means that the equipment must be reliable above all else. To date, of the units installed on RSE Water treatment sites, there have been no failures, ensuring that the residents continue to receive high quality water supplies. RSE propose to use this system on six future water treatment projects in 2019.”
Paul McCloskey, Senior Technical Manager at RSE, concludes: “We design these compact treatment plants for optimum performance with minimal maintenance. The Bürkert mass flow controller is central to maintaining the correct pH and it is delivered as a ‘plug & play’ component, which minimises our installation and configuration time.”
Burkert Fluid Control Systems is one of the leading manufacturers of control and measuring systems for fluids and gases. The products have a wide variety of applications and are used by breweries and laboratories as well as in medical engineering and space technology. The company employs over 2,500 people and has a comprehensive network of branches in 36 countries world-wide.
How water-sports groups are aiding cleaner oceans
With over 300 million tonnes of plastic getting manufactured each year, which is equivalent to the total weight of the adult population of the planet, it’s unsurprising to know that this is having an adverse knock-on effect to not only the planet’s health, but the marine animals that populate the waters.
David Attenborough famously took his chance on Blue Planet 2 to provide a universal rallying call to encourage us to double and treble our ecological efforts in order to make the environment a healthier place, and when David talks, we listen, stating: “We have to act. We have to act now to try and clear up some of the appalling damage we have made to the ocean, and that is going to require positive action”.
There are approximately 7.5 billion people on Earth, if every one of those picked up one piece of litter, that’s 7.5 billion less items to worry about entering the mouths of a young turtle or fish. It’s a simple way of putting things into perspective, and it’s not about campaigning, it’s stating facts and raising awareness.
Ecological practices and messages in the world of sport is just one source of concerned earthen dwellers fighting back against pollution, from joggers picking up bottles as they go to global sporting bodies pledging to tackle plastic head on, athletes, enthusiasts and sporting amateurs are collaborating with one shared goal.
The Ocean Race, formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race, spans 45,000 miles around the world across 8 months that sees 7 teams battle it out in one grueling competition, but all in the name of a good cause – sustainability. Building on the legacy of the previous race, the next will see their innovative programme will act as the catalyst for addressing positive change and the impacts of plastic pollution.
Often dubbed as ‘the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world’, the race is up for numerous awards to cement its prestige amongst the world’s most innovative and charitable events, shortlisting for Fan Engagement, Cutting-edge tech and Sustainability prizes at the 2019 BT Sport Industry Awards.
The most famous and well-known organised action against plastic in the surfing community comes in the form of the Big Spring Clean event, brought about by Surfers Against Sewage. The annual project is the ‘largest and most effective volunteer beach cleaning project in the UK, if not Europe’. Originating in 2010, the project has seen over 75,500 people giving up their free time and energy across 1,775 different events across the UK, removing 152,741KG of marine litter from the UK coastline in that time.
The past few years have seen the people behind the event team up with outdoor sport retailers Freeze Pro Shop, who they themselves have just launched a recyclable wetsuit scheme to further their environmental efforts, where old or unwanted neoprene wetsuits get upcycled into new products such as laptop cases among other creative things.
Getting right in amongst it is Project AWARE’s flagship scheme, Dive Against Debris, which empowers scuba divers of varying skill levels to remove marine debris from the ocean and contribute towards the documentation and reporting of such practises, including the location and the quantity of materials collected.
Launching in 2011, more than 50,000 divers have stepped up to the task across 114 countries around the world, reporting over one million pieces of trash. With a goal 2020 goal of adding yet another million pieces of trash to their collection, the event has dedicated diving spots which can be found on a map near you.
The scheme encourages social sharing of each diver’s journey, allowing for a global online community full of like-minded environmentalists. The data reportage has highlighted over 110,000 plastic and glasses bottles of the million items found which is the main source of marine pollution.
Whether you’re a water sports enthusiast or not, some of these initiatives should be enough to encourage action even in the most amateur of individuals. (Source: industryeurope.com)
NORD DRIVESYSTEMS drive solutions for sewage plants
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