Regional Spotlight Middle east & africa

The pilot study scope included an evaluation of RO filtration of the system
effluent to determine if the system produced longer RO run times by
minimizing membrane fouling and reducing clean-in-place requirements

Reusing RefineRy wastewateR:
the MBr approach in saudi araBia
a trial at a refinery in Saudi Typical biological oxidation methods and transporting this water to the
arabia has led to the development used to treat these wastewaters often refineries, is becoming cost-prohibitive
of a mBR-based technology to provide inadequate removal of oils for companies like Saudi Arabian oil
and difficult-to-degrade organic company - Saudi Aramco.
help with the reuse of wastewater
compounds, resulting in organic The company’s policy of minimizing
from the petroleum industry. this
fouling problems in the downstream the extraction of groundwater and
article examines the trial results ultrafiltration (UF) and RO membrane the use (and associated expense) of
from the membrane evaluation filtration systems. desalinated seawater for process water
of processing this tough to treat use, led them to actively investigate
industrial water. WaSteWateR tReatment in the sustainable methods and technologies
By William Cunningham oil and gaS induStRy that will allow wastewater reuse,
The petroleum industry traditionally uses either as cooling water makeup and/
very large quantities of water. Refineries, or boiler feed water. Typically, RO

W
astewater from oil-processing for instance, discharge approximately treatment of biologically treated effluent
facilities presents a number one-half to one barrel of wastewater for is required for reuse. However this
of challenges for owners and every barrel of crude oil that is processed. leads to excessive organic fouling of RO
operators contemplating reuse of treated It is becoming increasingly difficult to membranes due to recalcitrant COD
wastewater. The oily wastewater often reduce that figure further because water remaining in the treated effluent.
has a high concentration of dissolved is an essential component in the refining An investigation into combining
solids that must be removed before process. The crude oil distillation tower activated carbon with microbiology
reuse as boiler feed water, cooling water at the heart of most modern refineries led to the development of the EcoRight
and utility water. depends on water as a heat exchange System from Saudi Aramco and Siemens
Difficult-to-degrade (refractory) mechanism. Water is also used to Water Solutions. The system relies on
organic compounds are also present provide steam as a power source and for Siemens’ Petro Membrane Bioreactor
in refinery wastewater and these washing or desalting crude. (MBR) technology, modified to allow the
compounds must first be removed to It should come as no surprise that aeration tank mixed liquor suspended
protect reverse osmosis (RO) equipment meeting this fresh water requirement solids (MLSS) to operate with suspended
designed to remove the dissolved solids. through a RO desalination process, granular activated carbon (GAC).

7 96 William J. This was provide a high quality water to meet most discharge requirements. Upstream Biomass + Granular Isolation Device No damage to the system membrane Deoiling Activated Carbon UF fibres was observed during the Membranes membrane autopsy conducted at the Wastewater Treated Effluent end of the study. p.Regional Spotlight Middle east & africa q Process flow illustration: osmosis operation without requiring CIP procedures. were successfully removed. The pilot study scope of system operation. In most system to treat wastewater from a Saudi demonstrated by nearly eight months cases.5 91 nh3-n.359. mg/l 92 8. allowing the wastewater to be oR Cooling Recalcitrant COD and Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS).com Reprinted with revisions to format.cunningham@siemens. mg/l 16 0. Siemens contracted with Saudi Aramco times by minimizing membrane fouling tReated eFFluent uSe to perform a pilot study using the and reducing clean-in-place (CIP) The pilot study results have requirements. email: williamj. and more than or fed directly to RO equipment for included an evaluation of RO filtration two and a half months of reverse reuse as boiler feed or cooling water. mg/l 475 89 81 an existing water supply to reduce the impact on desalination facilities and the Bod5. Membrane abrasion is eliminated Can Be ReuSed of oil and grease and COD loading. Aramco refinery. by separating the granular activated carbon from microbiology prior to the or fed to ro the system effluent complied with all discharge standards.siemens.715. Even after extraordinary variable discharges wastewater targeted for reuse. which economically and efficiently sent for further treatment for reuse.e. q Average Influent and Effluent Constituent Concentrations and Percent Reduction During the Post Acclimation Period (1) Development of the system by Saudi Aramco and Siemens has provided a Feed Effluent % Reduction new opportunity to recover and reuse cod. By using a very stable system. or to WateR typically foul UF and RO membranes.7211 www.8 97 local fresh water supply. is the manager of biological processes and (1) this data was collected during the period when the chiller was operating to reduce the activated sludge products for the water solutions business unit system temperature to below 32°c. and frequent power interruptions. the The EcoRight pilot unit was operated demonstrated the system to be a cost- effective solution for treating refinery treated effluent over a 319 day period. all of the system effluent to determine if while meeting stringent environmental discharge requirements. from the February/March 2014 edition of Water & Wastewater International Copyright 2014 by PennWell Corporation Siemens Water Solutions Phone: +1. Cunningham. toc. eQuipMent for technology has the capacity to process it results in lower contaminant upsets and quickly return to normal ReuSe aS Feed operating conditions. in Most cases. indicating that: Feed • The screen system was effective at keeping the granular carbon in the aeration tank and preventing contact with the membrane fibers in the MOS tank • The ability to keep the granular WAS carbon segregated from the membrane fibres increases membrane life over WAS and Waste Carbon powdered carbon MBR systems by eliminating carbon-related membrane Biofilm abrasion potential • Bio-regeneration of the granular activated carbon likely contributed to reduced activated carbon pilot Study the system produced longer RO run consumption. the treated effluent can be reused.com/energy/water-solutions . of siemens energy’s oil and Gas sector. mg/l 140 3. concentrations in the treated effluent. indicating that this membrane tank.