Introduction to Industrial water treatment

By: Doyouknow | Views: 2258 | Date: 02-Jan-2012

Industrial Water Treatment can be classified into the following categories:• Boiler water treatment • Cooling water treatment • Wastewater treatment.

Industrial Water Treatment can be classified into the following categories:

• Boiler water treatment
• Cooling water treatment
• Wastewater treatment

Water treatment is used to optimize most water-based industrial processes, such as: heating, cooling, processing, cleaning, and rinsing, so that operating costs and risks are reduced. Poor water treatment lets water interact with the surfaces of pipes and vessels which contain it. Steam boilers can scale up or corrode, and these deposits will mean more fuel is needed to heat the same amount of water. Cooling towers can also scale up and corrode, but left untreated, the warm, dirty water they can contain will encourage bacteria to grow, and Legionnaires ‘ disease can be the fatal consequence. Also, water treatment is used to improve the quality of water contacting the manufactured product e.g. semiconductors, and/or can be part of the product e.g. beverages, pharmaceuticals, etc. In these instances, poor water treatment can cause defective products. Domestic water can become unsafe to drink if proper hygiene measures are neglected.

In many cases, effluent water from one process might be perfectly suitable for reuse in another process somewhere else on site. With the proper treatment, a significant proportion of industrial on-site wastewater might be reusable. This can save money in three ways: lower charges for lower water consumption, lower charges for the smaller volume of effluent water discharged and lower energy costs due to the recovery of heat in recycled wastewater.

Industrial water treatment objectives

Industrial water treatment seeks to manage four main problem areas: scaling, corrosion, microbiological activity and disposal of residual wastewater. Boilers do not have many problems with microbes as the high temperature prevents their growth.

Scaling occurs when the chemistry and temperature conditions are such that the dissolved mineral salts in the water are caused to precipitate and form solid deposits. These can be mobile, like fine silt, or can build up in layers on the metal surfaces of the systems. Scale is a problem because it insulates and heat exchange becomes less efficient as the scale thickens, which wastes energy. Scale also narrows pipe widths and therefore increases the energy used in pumping the water through the pipes.

Corrosion occurs when the parent metal oxidizes (as iron rusts, for example) and gradually the integrity of the plant equipment is compromised. The corrosion products can cause similar problems to scale, but corrosion can also lead to leaks, which in a pressurized system can lead to catastrophic failures.

Microbes can thrive in untreated cooling water, which is warm and sometimes full of organic nutrients, as wet cooling towers are very efficient air scrubbers. Dust, flies, grass, fungal spores and so on collect in the water and creates a sort of "microbial soup" if not treated with biocides. Most outbreaks of the deadly Legionnaires ‘ disease have been traced to unmanaged cooling towers, and the UK has had stringent Health & Safety guidelines concerning cooling tower operations for many years as have had governmental agencies in other countries.

Water treatment

Water treatment describes those processes used to make water more acceptable for a desired end-use. These can include use as drinking water, industrial processes, medical and many other uses. The goal of all water treatment process is to remove existing contaminants in the water, or reduce the concentration of such contaminants so the water becomes fit for its desired end-use. One such use is returning water that has been used back into the natural environment without adverse ecological impact.

The processes involved in treating water for drinking purpose may be solids separation using physical processes such as settling and filtration, and chemical processes such as disinfection and coagulation. Biological processes are also employed in the treatment of wastewater and these processes may include, for example, aerated lagoons, activated sludge or slow sand filters.

Potable water purification

Water purification is the removal of contaminants from untreated water to produce drinking water that is pure enough for the most critical of its intended uses, usually for human consumption. Substances that are removed during the process of drinking water treatment include suspended solids, bacteria, algae, viruses, fungi, minerals such as iron, manganese and sulphur, and other chemical pollutants such as fertilizers.

Measures taken to ensure water quality not only relate to the treatment of the water, but to its conveyance and distribution after treatment as well. It is therefore common practice to have residual disinfectants in the treated water in order to kill any bacteriological contamination during distribution.

World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines are generally followed throughout the world for drinking water quality requirements. In addition of the WHO guidelines, each country or territory or water supply body can have their own guidelines in order for consumers to have access to safe drinking water.


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