Three years ago, Aquatech, a global player in water purification technology for industrial and infrastructure markets, was awarded a contract by the Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (ETHYDCO) to provide a landmark water treatment facility that includes the first integrated Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) plant in Egypt. This plant, which is designed to protect Egypt’s only life-giving aquifer, The River Nile, has now been commissioned, and Aquatech’s solution has resulted in the plant achieving ZLD while reducing its fresh water demand by 70%.
Hailed as a “beacon for other industries not only in Egypt, but also GCC countries to follow,” the plant is installed at ETHYDCO’s petroleum derivatives production facility at Alexandria. A subsidiary of Egyptian Holding Co. for Petrochemical (ECHEM), ETHYDCO produces ethylene and other petroleum derivatives at this site. Designed and supplied by Aquatech, the plant treats wastewater from this facility and cooling tower blowdown to get cooling tower makeup water, boiler feed water and achieve Zero Liquid Discharge.
The feed to the plant is 1119 cubic meters per hour (m3/hr) – a composite mix of treated effluent and water from the Nile River, which experiences inconsistent water chemistry and unpredictable fluctuations throughout the year. After studying three years of data, Aquatech developed a process design that could operate at seven pre-defined scenarios and adapt to prevailing site conditions.
Aquatech’s innovative solution integrates a combination of technologies and equipment configuration to achieve desired operational flexibility and treated water demands. Components include a microfiltration system and High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis (HEROTM) technology for achieving more than 97% recovery across membrane systems. This is followed by QUA® Fractional Electrodeionization (FEDI®) for high quality demineralized water production, a two-stage thermal system consisting of a brine concentrator and crystallizer to achieve ZLD, and a sludge treatment system.
Aquatech’s solution has resulted in the fresh water demand being reduced by 70%, from 2600 m3/hr to 800 m3/hr.
“We are proud to be associated with this groundbreaking project, which brings Aquatech’s unparalleled expertise and experience in Zero Liquid Discharge solutions into sharp focus. Aquatech can point to more than 160 ZLD installations on six continents. We are an innovator in ZLD technologies and a pioneer in hybrid ZLD. This experience and capability make us uniquely positioned to help customers across all segments of industry achieve increasingly strict environmental goals,” said Robert W. Sweetman, Principal Process Engineer, Aquatech.
Aquatech has executed several projects in Egypt, including seawater desalination systems and recycle/reuse plants.