Demonstration of an innovative REcycling scheme to increase the WATer efficiency in the petroCHemical industry

The petrochemical refinery industry is a major water user, mainly for cooling and steam production. The industrial sector uses 22% of the freshwater volume drawn in the world. Within the industrial sector, the petrochemical industry is a major water user.

The LIFE REWATCH project proposes an on-site innovative treatment for water reuse. To face this challenge, the REWATCH project proposes an on-site reuse scheme including five different technologies to constitute a completely new water treatment process in the petrochemical industry: ACTIFLO®-based physicochemical pretreatment, AnoxKaldnes® moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR), DOW Ultrafiltration (UF), FILMTEC Reverse Osmosis (RO) and water deionization using DOWEX Ion Exchange Resins (IER). Tests at bench-scale of the MBBR treating petrochemical wastewater achieved an 86% COD removal with high degradation rates of recalcitrant petroleum-like compounds. The final effluent of the treatment train fulfilled quality specifications for boiler feed water (i.e., conductivities < 4 µS/cm, Fe and Si < 5 µg/l, and Cu < 1 µg/l), and thus suitable to be reused in any point of the petrochemical industry. Throughout the project duration, these technologies are being demonstrated at pilot scale in the DOW olefins cracker located in Tarragona, Catalonia region.

The key goal of the project is to decrease the freshwater consumption by the petrochemical industry leading to a more efficient use of water resources. A deployment of the REWATCH solution at industrial scale in DOW Tarragona would represent a nearly 25% reduction of their annual freshwater consumption. Additionally, to have an onsite water treatment and recycling scheme entails energy consumption savings due to the fact that water transportation is avoided.

There are infographics in the brochure (is in the download area of the website, Pictures are the ones in the website and the ones of the pilot placed already in the petrochemical

Participants: DOW, Veolia, WssTP