Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania


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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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Monday, November 13, 2023

Technical Sessions

M5: Mining Water Treatment

IWC Rep: Ivan Morales, Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company, Calgary, AB, Canada
Session Chair: Ashwin Thakkar, Aquatech International, Canonsburg, PA
Discussion Leader: Bryan D. Hansen, P.E., Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, MO

Time: 1:15 – 5:00 PM

Mining Wastewater Treatment using different methods, i.e. Advanced MembraneTreatment using UF/High-Pressure RO, Biological Treatment for metals removal, Bio-based polymers for heavy metals precipitation, and Evaporation for treatment of highly concentrated waste. Interesting facts highlighting Lessons Learned from wastewater storage pond treatment. Session also highlights the hybrid approach of membranes and evaporators for CapEX and OpEX optimization.

IWC 23-13: Mine Water Treatment using Ultrahigh-pressure RO Membrane (UHPRO) system optimizing the size of the downstream Thermal Evaporation System
Mahesh Bhadane, M. N. Rao, and Vinod Mojar, Aquatech International, Canonsburg, PA; Charles Desportes, Aquatech ICD, Hartland, WI

The Mine Water Desalination Project was awarded by a reputed mining company in Canada includes an ultra-high pressure reverse osmosis units (UHP-RO) followed by forced circulation thermal evaporators. This is the first full-scale industrial application in North America where an ultrahigh-pressure RO membrane system is being used.

This paper demonstrates, how advanced membrane technology, combined with thermal evaporators can successfully process challenging highly contaminated mine waters while respecting effluent disposal limits and customer goals and objectives.

Discusser: Ken Martins, Stantec, Carson Valley, NV

IWC 23-14: Modeling the Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) from Brines using Rigorous Electrolyte Thermodynamics
Leslie Miller, OLI Systems, Reston, VA; Anthony J. Gerbino, Ph.D., OLI Systems, Parsippany, NJ

As the lithium industry continues to expand, more complex lithium extraction techniques from geologic fluids and other brines are being developed. With that, a rigorous chemistry model that can be used in a process simulator for pilot and full-scale plant design is required. In this study, electrolyte thermodynamics, a DLE media database with reaction kinetics, and a steady state process simulator are used to predict the mass, energy, and chemistry balance in a direct lithium extraction plant.

In summary, three capabilities were developed to enable the simulation, with relative accuracy, the geological fluid extraction processes. This includes simulating critical unit operations like ion exchange and media regeneration, membrane separation processes, predicting the formation of unwanted solids, and predicting the chemical and water demand under different process conditions.

Discusser: Bridget Finnegan Moyles, GHD, Pittsburgh, PA

IWC 23-15: Withdrawn

 IWC 23-16: Mining Wastewater Storage Pond Treatment – 10 Years of Lessons Learned at a Remote Site with Extreme Algae Issues
Linea Miller, E.I.T., and Jack Hinds, P.Eng., WSP E&I Canada, Cambridge, ON Canada

WSP has provided ongoing support to a remote open pit mining operation in the Canadian arctic for treatment of hydrocarbon impacted wastewater which must be discharged seasonally. Effective treatment of the impacted water has proved to be challenging due to the remote nature of the site and increased levels of organics from mining operations. This paper presents the lessons learned and how the treatment approach and system performance have changed over time.

Discusser: Jason Monnell, Ph.D., PMP, Electric Power Research Institute, Charlotte, NC

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M6: Membranes are Everywhere

IWC Rep: Lyndsey Wiles, ZwitterCo, Woburn, MA
Session Chair: Wayne Bates, Nitto, Rockton, IL
Discussion Leader: Anthony Zamarro, P.E., CDM Smith, Boston, MA

Time: 1:15 – 5:00 PM

This membrane session covers a wide variety of topics and shows that membranes are truly everywhere. Papers cover a unique low energy ultrafiltration method for produced water treatment, an academic study on electrical energy savings and reduction of carbon emissions at desalination plants, a review of polymer-based and inorganic-based membrane systems in the Middle East, and the reduction or elimination of hazardous sulfuric acid in high iron feed NF plants.

IWC 23-17: Replaceable Skin Layer Membrane Technology for Produced Water Treatment: Five Case Studies
David Bromley, M.ENG., P.E., DBE Hytec Ltd, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Sobhan Iranmanesh, M.Sc., DBE Hytec Ltd., Edmonton, Canada

Produced water is the dichotomy of the oil and gas industry. Is it a waste or a resource? Water has become a serious operational impairment. Reuse for hydrofracking and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is essential. Replaceable skin layer membrane technology is now being used to satisfy new specifications at a lower cost and energy consumption compared to the previous best available technology. At the 2013 IWC, David Bromley and Dr. Kavithaa Loganathan. Ph.D. – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. introduced this novel third generation membrane technology. A one-year comparison with Veolia’s ceramic UF membranes was provided. This paper reviews 5 case studies since the 2013 introduction.

Discusser: Tony Fuhrman, NX Filtration, Pittsburgh, PA

IWC 23-18: Reducing Sulfuric Acid Consumption in High Iron Environment: Case studies on Nanofiltration Plants
Melissa Fernandes, American Water Chemicals, Plant City, FL USA

Over decades, pH adjustment has been implemented as part of the raw water pre-treatment in Reverse Osmosis and Nanofiltration systems. Sulfuric acid is the most common acid used to reduce the feed pH, and plants all over the world have been using H2SO4 as standard pre-treatment, with or without addition of antiscalant.
With the underlying safety concern and acid market volatility, membrane treatment professionals are working to shift away using acid as pre-treatment. Improvements on membrane technology, system design, and chemical pre-treatment have provided ideal conditions to run systems without feed pH adjustment.
With this change of thought, many factors need to be considered when increasing the feed pH, not only for the nanofiltration membranes, but for the entire treatment system and distribution. An extensive study of the water quality, system design, post-treatment and distribution system need to be conducted to safely eliminate or reduce pre-treatment acid injection.

Discusser: Frank Brinson, McCafferty Brinson Consulting, LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL

IWC 23-19: Optimizing Seawater Desalination: Trade-offs in Costs and Emissions Through Flexibility
Akshay K. Rao, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; Adam A. Atia, Ph.D., National Energy Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA; Timothy Bartholomew, Ph.D., National Energy Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA; Meagan S. Mauter, Ph.D., Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Seawater desalination demands substantial energy but has built-in operational redundancy. Exploiting this redundancy can help to curtail emissions and cut expenses by strategically aligning operations with electricity rate structures. Here, we examine available flexibility mechanisms in desalination processes. We model a seawater reverse osmosis treatment train with precise grid carbon intensity measurements and electricity market data, inspired by a case study in Santa Barbara, CA, to estimate potential savings through optimized operations.

Discusser: Shiladitya Basu, P.E., Stantec, Houston, TX

IWC 23-20: State of art critical review on advancement, design, and improvement strategies for modern-era membranes for treatment of wastewater
Nadeem Ahmad Khan, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Allan Amorim Santos, Biophysics Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Afzal Husain, Khan Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia

Advances in membrane technologies are concentrated on optimization for specific processes, focusing on different uses from classical separation to purification in different applications such as protein purification, water purification, wastewater treatment and water desalination. These membranes are widely used in industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and wastewater treatment plants, among others, to purify and recycle water, separate dissolved substances from the environment, such as organic and inorganic contaminants, and recover valuable materials. Additionally, they may be supported by different materials such as a fibrous network that should be impermeable to substances in a solution. Along with the type of materials, the polymeric membranes may be classified into different groups according to the process and respective usage. They can be divided according to the type of material into organic and inorganic ones, besides the organizational structure of their matrices as isotropic and anisotropic. Organic membranes are made from synthetic organic polymers and the most used in industrial applications are polyethylene (PE), polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), polyamide (PA), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polypropylene (PP), polysulfone (PS), regenerated cellulose (RC) and cellulose acetate (CeA). Meanwhile, the main inorganic membranes used in industry technologies are made from materials such as ceramics, silica, zirconia, glass, metals, and zeolites. Regarding the structure of polymeric membranes and their respective matrix, they can be classified as isotropic and anisotropic. This review article will cover various aspects of membrane and its treatment towards wastewater.

Discusser: Xiaofei Huang, Hydranautics – A Nitto Group Company, Oceanside, CA

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M7: Wastewater 1 – No Wasting of Wastewater: Reuse, Recovery, Reversals and Cost – it’s all here

IWC Rep: Michael J. Soller, P.E., CPC, Bowen Engineering, Indianapolis, IN
Session Chair: Russell Huffmyer, V-Systems, Pittsburgh, PA
Discussion Leader: Mark Owens, P.E., UCC Environmental, Waukegan, IL

Time: 1:15 – 5:00 PM

Wastewater comes from many sources, yet cleaning and recovery is a smart business decision. These papers address Beverage Recovery and Reuse, Recirculating expandable granular bioclarifiers, Electrodialysis reversal, and Sour Water recovery from Oil operations. The variety of papers highlight critical industries using solutions that address hard to treat waters with positive outcomes.

IWC 23-21: Advance Recovery and Reuse of Beverage Facility Wastewater
Brian Arntsen, Veolia WTS, Oakville, ON Canada; Michele Migliavacca, Veolia WTS, Tomball, TX; Craig Duvall, Veolia WTS, Oakville, ON, Canada

This paper will provide key design criteria for an advanced MBR-RO wastewater treatment system at a beverage facility that treats both dairy and non-dairy wastewater. A breakdown of the last 4 years of MBR operational data will be presented, as well as key statistics on the water savings through reuse with Veolia ZeeWeed* MBR + Reclaim RO.

Discusser: David Donkin, UCC Environmental, Waukegan, IL

IWC 23-22: Recirculating Expandable Granular Bioclarifiers, Single Step Wastewater Treatment
Ronald Malone, Ph.D., P.E, and Rhine Perrin, P.E., Aquaculture Systems Technology, Baton Rouge, LA

Recirculating PolyGeysers® (RCPGs) utilize internal airlifts to reoxygenate wastewaters for multiple passes through a static floating granular plastic bead bed. Pneumatically washing harvests solids accumulations and excess biofilm. Backwash waters are internally recycled, and sludge accumulated for pneumatic discharge. Optimizing a fixed film bioreactor within a granular format allows units to simultaneously remove solids, oxidize BOD, and nitrify. Field data is presented for high concentration surcharge avoidance, lagoon polishing and upgrading of domestic effluents.

Discusser: David Krasiewich, Parkson Corporation, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

IWC 23-23: Incorporating Electrodialysis Reversal in the Treatment of Industrial Wastewater
Mavis Wong, Ph.D., P.E., Sunil Mehta, and Chad Unrau, Magna Imperio (MI) Systems Corp., Houston, TX

The latest innovations in spacer and system design have allowed electrodialysis reversal (EDR) to become a competitive technology in the treatment of brackish water. MI Systems deployed a full-scale two-stage EDR system to treat industrial wastewater for use in a wine packaging facility in California. The system was able to meet all effluent targets, reducing the TDS from 1200 to < 500 ppm at 95% recovery and < 0.25 kWh/m3.

Discusser: Evan Claytor, Veolia WTS, Midlothian, VA

IWC 23-24: Oil Refinery Sour Water – Temporary Treatment System Implementation
Carl Finlay, P.Eng., WSP, Vancouver, BC Canada

A local oil refinery reached out to WSP for assistance in assessing options to treat stored refinery sour water using a temporary treatment system based on rental equipment. The refinery had experienced problems with their regular sour water treatment unit resulting in a stockpile of stored sour water in crude oil and product tanks. Sour water contains high concentrations of ammonia and hydrogen sulphide. The objective was to rapidly implement a treatment system which would be capable of treating the stockpiled water to a suitable quality to go as feed to the refinery wastewater treatment plant or to offsite third party disposal, thus returning the crude and product tanks to their regular service as quickly as possible.

In this presentation the approach towards design of a temporary treatment system for rapid deployment is discussed, along with site photos and model shots of the temporary plant constructed, and operating results from the Phase 1 treatment system which enabled truck-out of treated water to commence. Difficulties with vendor delivery of the Phase 2 system (closed loop air stripping of ammonia), and site seasonal impacts on the Phase 3 system (augmentation of the site biological treatment system) are also discussed.

Discusser: John Van Gehuchten, P.E., McKim & Creed Inc., Sewickley, PA

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M8: Sustainability Performance – 2023

IWC Rep: Michele Funk, P.E., Bechtel Corp., Reston, VA
Session Chair: Juvencio Casanova
Discussion Leader: Rosana Ramirez, Veolia WTS, Portland, TX

Time: 1:15 – 5:00 PM

Over the years, sustainability has increasingly gained importance in organizations and communities. Whether self-imposed or mandated by regulation, industrial users and municipalities are setting specific and stricter water targets to ensure the long-term availability and responsible use of water. After the development of the UN Sustainable Goals in 2015 and more recently with the Inflation Reduction Act, Infrastructure Law, and America’s Water Infrastructure Act, sustainable performance is at the center of how the industry is responding.

On one end, many projects aim to improve water efficiency, but on the other hand, decarbonization is particularly driving higher water demand usage and is challenging the water balance of industrial organizations. This session explores various cases illustrating how sustainability is shaping environmental, social, and governance programs – from addressing fundamental industrial needs to water reuse, and from balancing water and energy to water-positive initiatives.

IWC 23-25: Roadmap for Developing a Facility Water Management Plan
Daniel Sampson, HDR, Walnut Creek, CA

We’ll discuss the general approach to developing water management plans at the facility or corporate level. The framework we’ll cover includes setting of policy and goals, the assessment of water uses and costs, development of facility water balances, identifying and closing data gaps, assessing funding opportunities and economics, developing implementation plans, monitoring and measuring progress, and planning for contingencies. The paper provides a template that others may find useful when implementing sustainability goals.

Discusser: Jorvic Vital, Nalco Water, An Ecolab Company, Katy, TX

IWC 23-26: What can industry learn from the municipal sector about implementing advanced reuse projects?
Greta Zornes, CDM Smith, New Orleans, LA

To secure access to sustainable water supplies, the implementation and practice of advanced water reuse will continue to grow. Although the technology exists to safely implement advanced reuse, there are still many challenges, including permitting, operations, staffing, engineering and vendor support, costs and acceptance of reuse that must be addressed. This paper will use the case study of The Village of Cloudcroft, NM to define and discuss the steps required to successfully implement reuse projects.

Discusser: Drew Desembrana, P.Eng., Veolia WTS, Oakville, ON, Canada

IWC 23-27: The Value of Inside the Fenceline Projects as Part of a Water Sustainability Program
Rebecca Maco, Brown and Caldwell, Seattle, WA; Andy Wright, PepsiCo, San Fernando, CA; Carla De Las Casas, Ph.D., Brown and Caldwell, Walnut Creek, CA

Many private sector industries are now incorporating water commitments as part of an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) program. PepsiCo is one such company and has set a goal to be net water positive by 2030. This paper provides an analysis of PepsiCo’s net water positive program, including both replenishment projects and water efficiency projects, to compare the relative value of each and provide insights to other industries also endeavoring to meet net water positive goals.

Discusser: Mark Knight, LuminUltra, Toronto, ON, Canada

IWC 23-28: How to Focus Industrial Facility Managers on Water Minimalization: Case Study in Decreasing Water Waste While Increasing Energy Efficiency
Lisha Wu, HDR, Rosemont, IL USA; Brian Mulinix, HDR, Omaha, NE

Through the lens of a case study at a gelatin production facility, we’ll see how a thorough evaluation of processes and systems can uncover opportunities for reducing water and energy use and minimizing waste generation. With proper monitoring and automation technologies, we will focus on how to collect the data, analyze the production process, control the water and energy usage, and sustain the win for both short-term and long-term gains, which leads to increased sustainability.

Discusser: Diane Martini, Burns & McDonnell, Chicago, IL

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