Evaluation of Reverse Osmosis - Electrode-ionization Pilot Project in PT Badak NGL

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PT Badak NGL utilizes groundwater for Plants and Community water consumption. Demineralization water production in PT Badak NGL uses ion exchange process which has high safety risk since it utilizes sulfuric acid and caustic for ion exchanger regeneration. The sulfuric acid sometimes leaks out from the pipe and connections that can endanger the worker and plant facilities around the leakages due to its aggressiveness. PT Badak NGL intends to reduce the risk of sulfuric acid usage by implementing a more safe process that use less chemicals such as Reverse Osmosis - Electrode-ionization (RO-EDI) process. The RO-EDI is a new water treatment technology that utilizes less hazardous chemicals.

The implementation of new technology is high risk and high capital investment, therefore PT Badak NGL has conducture a literature study and a pilot project of RO-EDI. The RO-EDI pilot project for producing demineralization water was developed in year 2010. The pilot project intent is to verify previous membrane study result in technical and economic point of views and also defining the operating mode, problems troubleshoot, and familiarization RO-EDI application to PT Badak NGL personnel.

The performance test of RO-EDI unit with 1 m3/h capacity was conducted for 2 consecutive months in year 2010. Based on the pilot test result, the water quality of RO-EDI met with PT Badak demineralization water specification except the pH. The pH of RO-EDI water product was 6.2 (PT Badak range specification is 8.0-8.5). Based on the simulation, the pH of mixed water of steam condensate and RO-EDI product is 8.62, which is within the PT Badak steam condensate water range specification of 8.3-9.0. Therefore, the RO-EDI water product can be utilized as make-up for Boiler Feed Water.

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