Building Water Resiliency at Hydrocarbon Processing Facilities | AIChE

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Building Water Resiliency at Hydrocarbon Processing Facilities

October
2020

Use these strategies to manage and treat water sources for reuse within evaporative cooling towers.

Building resiliency into a facility’s water supply enables industrial production to be maintained during droughts, floods, or other episodes that impact source water availability or quality. The quantity of water used in petrochemicals production is influenced by available source water quality, cooling system blowdown quantity and quality, and the quantity and quality of treated effluent from onsite wastewater treatment. Balancing the elevated total dissolved solids (TDS) or salt levels within a facility can expand the water reuse options and improve the resiliency of the facility.

This article discusses the dependency of a petrochemical plant’s largest water user — evaporative cooling towers — on source water quality and the ability to successfully manage elevated TDS levels in cooling tower makeup water and blowdown streams. The article describes how to develop reuse options to ensure flexibility in water usage and better deal with source water variability.

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