Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania


337 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: (412) 261-0710 Email: Get Directions

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Technical Sessions

W1: High Recovery RO

IWC Rep: Scott C. Quinlan, P.E., TetraTech, Pittsburgh, PA
Session Chair: Wayne Bates, Hydranautics, Rockton, IL
Discussion Leader: Richard (Rick) L. Stover, Ph.D., Gradiant Corporation, Woburn, MA

Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

High Recovery RO is becoming more prevalent as a design goal. MLD and ZLD systems are becoming more popular as the industry is being asked to maximize water recovery and minimize the volume of liquid concentrate (brine) that requires disposal. This session reviews current concentration methods with an emphasis on the use of RO membrane technologies upstream of industrial waste thermal, evaporative and salt precipitation methods and in seawater brine mining for the recovery of valuable minerals.

IWC 22-61: Case Study: 96% Recovery of Power Plant’s Cooling Tower Blowdown with an Advanced Reverse Osmosis Demonstration Plant
Liron Ophek, IDE Water Technologies, Kadima, Israel

Cooling towers are the biggest water consumer and wastewater producer in a power plant.

To save water, CTBD needs to be treated and reused. However, challenging water composition prevents conventional technologies from reaching high water recovery.

IDE developed a membrane-based technology, MAXH2O DESALTER, that allows achieving high recovery of CTBD.

This paper presents the results of a MaxH2O Desalter demonstration unit in a power plant in Chile which achieved a 96% recovery of the CTBD.

Discusser: Kurt Blohm, Gradiant, San Diego, CA

IWC 22-62: Hollow Fiber Nanofiltration for Reuse of Municipal Wastewater: A Techno-economic and Lifecycle-based Comparison to Conventional Membrane Treatment
Joris De Grooth, Ph.D., Dennis Reurink, Ph.D., and Umang Yagnik, NX Filtration B.V., Enschede, The Netherlands

Hollow fiber direct Nanofiltration (dNF) membranes are suitable for direct treatment of municipal wastewater effluent, without any pre-treatment or addition of flocculants and coagulants. As such, a treatment processes with significant lower total cost of ownership can be obtained while still meeting the appropriate water quality standards. We also highlight how dNF membranes reduce the carbon footprint of the process, resulting in an affordable and a more sustainable option for water reclamation.

Discusser: Omkar Lokare, Gradiant Corporation, Woburn, MA

IWC 22-63: Zero Liquid Discharge of Oilfield Produced Water via a Hydrophilic-Omniphobic HF Membrane-Based DCMD and Crystallization Process
Jianjia Yu, Stephen White, Guoyin Zhang, and Gabriela Torres Fernandez, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM

In this paper, a novel crosslinked PVDF hollow fiber (c-PVDF HF) membrane was prepared for desalination of actual oilfield produced water with a high salinity (TDS>150,000 mg/L) via direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD). The DCMD concentrate stream was further reclaimed using a crystallizer. The results show that the integration of DCMD with crystallization can simultaneously recover dissolved minerals and high purity clean water (TDS<50 mg/L), and achieve zero liquid discharge of high-salinity oilfield produced water.

Discusser: Alison Ling, Ph.D., P.E., Barr Engineering, Minneapolis, MN

IWC 22-64: A High-Level Guide for Designing High Recovery SWRO and Ultra-high Pressure RO Systems
Eli Oklejas, MLitt, Rory Weaver, MLitt, and Juan de Beristain Ruiz, FEDCO, Monroe, MI; Craig Bartels, Ph.D., and Rich Franks, P.E., NITTO, Oceanside, CA

This paper demonstrates the use of turbochargers for pressure management in a pilot facility extracting minerals from seawater in Saudi Arabia. Located in Jubail, this facility uses a two-stage RO array incorporating multiple turbochargers to concentrate pretreated seawater from 47,000 ppm to 120,000 ppm. Effective pressure management is key to enhancing the RO membrane performance in this multi-stage, high pressure, high recovery operating environment.

Discusser: Ken Robinson, Avista Technologies, San Marcos, CA

Back to top

W2: What’s Hot in Cooling Water Monitoring and Treatment

IWC Rep: Jeff Easton, WesTech, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT
Session Chair: Michael Bluemle, Ph.D., Solenis LLC, Wilmington, DE
Discussion Leader: Mary Jane Felipe, SI group, Houston, TX

Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Cost-effective mitigation of mineral scaling, fouling, corrosion and microbial growth is the fundamental objective of treatment of once through and recirculating cooling water systems. Management of these interrelated processes has become progressively more challenging due to increasingly stringent discharge limits and expanding water scarcity. The four presentations in this session describe the application of innovative phosphorus-free treatment technologies, an online Legionella monitoring system and the development of new corrosion inhibitor dosage models.

IWC 22-65: Field Experiences Using a Novel Non-Phosphorus Cooling Water Treatment
Timothy Eggert, Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions, Portland, OR; Robin Wright, Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions, Ponte Verde, FL; Robert Hendel and Paul DiFranco, Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions, Trevose, PA

Cooling water chemical treatment programs have historically relied mainly on phosphorus-based compounds. Environmental scrutiny is requiring many industrial facilities to drastically reduce the amount of phosphorus in their discharge streams. Moreover, there are environmental and operational challenges associated with the use of phosphorus. Case studies of a novel non-phosphorus treatment technology in a variety of industries are presented, highlighting excellent overall asset protection, environmental and operational benefits, and favorable economics.

Discusser: David Fulmer, Athlon, A Halliburton Service, Houston, TX

IWC 22-66: Use of Polymers for Deposit Control in Once Through Utility Systems
Michael Standish, Radical Polymers, LLC, Chattanooga, TN

For decades, polymers have been used in conjunction with phosphonates to control mineral scale and deposits in a wide range of applications. With the recent supply shortages and logistics issues for phosphonates along with the drive for zero phosphorous, polymers are being used as stand-alone treatments for this purpose. One critical use of phosphonates in the water industry is the control of mineral deposition in once through utility systems. Unlike recirculating cooling water systems, once through systems, are unique in that the scale inhibitor is only required to delay the onset of precipitation (induction time) for a few seconds to effectively control deposition onto condenser tubing. As such, the dosage of scale inhibitor is typically fed in parts per billion levels. This paper covers the methods development and use of a Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) to evaluate a combination of an Enhanced Polymaleic Acid (EPMA) and a high purity sulfonated polymer (HPSP) versus phosphonates and untreated blank samples in synthetic waters representing three separate once through systems in the USA. The data show that the EPMA + HPSP treatment has comparable performance to traditional phosphonate treatments and demonstrates the utility of the use of QCM for evaluating scale inhibitors in ultra-low induction time applications.

Discusser: Jannifer Sanders, Nouryon, Chattanooga, TN

IWC 22-67: An Innovative, On-line, Automated Field qPCR Legionella Test Device
Loraine Huchler, P.E., CMC®, FIMC, MarTech Systems, Inc., Exmore, VA; Etienne Lemieux, Ph.D., MBA, BioAlert Solutions, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

The use of an on-line, field qPCR legionella test device minimizes the risk of Legionellosis infections. This paper documents the results of a field study for an evaporative comfort cooling water system at a corporate headquarters in the eastern US. This study included on-line field qPCR, manual field qPCR test and laboratory culture testing. Real-time, frequent qPCR testing provides important information about the effects of operating and environmental changes in evaporative cooling water systems.

Discusser: Kaylie Young, Ph.D., Champion X, Sugar Land, TX

IWC 22-68: Developing Corrosion Models That Include the Impact of Inhibitors
Robert Ferguson, French Creek Software, Valley Forge, PA; Kaylie Young, ChampionX, Sugar Land, TX

Volumes of information are available in the literature for the computer modeling of scale formation and its control, but few studies have been published on the modeling of corrosion and its inhibition in aerated cooling water systems. Frequent questions from users of water chemistry modeling software include:
What corrosion rates can be expected for carbon steel and common alloys as a functions of water chemistry, temperature, pH, and inhibitor dosage?
What inhibitor dosage will be required to achieve a target corrosion rate?
Can you profile corrosion rate as a function of water chemistry parameters and inhibitor dosage?
What are the relative costs projected to achieve different degrees of corrosion control?

This paper describes experimental designs for the development of the data required to develop models for relative corrosion rates, and the models used to correlate water chemistry to corrosion rates and inhibitor dosage. The model projections are validated through comparison to field observations in the wild. Significance levels for various parameters tested for inclusion in the correlations are discussed.

The models are directed towards aerated cooling water systems.

Discusser: Mary Jane Felipe, SI group, Houston, TX

W2-Reserve: Selecting Cost Effective and Sustainable Industrial Water Treatment Based On an Holistic Approach
Jasbir Gill, Water Energy Solutions, Naperville, IL

Water treatment for any system should not be viewed simply as the addition of scale and corrosion inhibitors, dispersants, or biocides. It requires a thorough knowledge of many simultaneous processes responsible for scale corrosion and biofouling. These processes have a great deal of dependency on each other. The use of impaired waters is increasing due to the shortage of good quality water and for such systems the best solution may require a combination of chemical and non-chemical approaches. Achieving higher cycles of concentration or ZLD may not be the most cost effective and environmentally sustainable due to deploying technologies to clean water that require high consumption of energy or produces green-house gasses in the process. Balancing scaling and corrosion potential along with cycles of concentration may help lower chemical use or no P inhibitors for the treatment The paper discusses a systematic approach to developing a water treatment program by evaluating mechanical, operational, and chemicals parameters and their impact on each other.

Back to top

W3: PFAS 2: PFAS – Prescription For Annoying Situations

IWC Rep: Derek Henderson, Duke Energy, Raleigh, NC
Session Chair: Brandon Kern, DuPont, Midland, MI
Discussion Leader: Kristen Jenkins, Brown and Caldwell, Atlanta, GA

Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are long lasting chemicals that break own very slowly over time. They have been widely used and have become quite persistent in the environment. Papers in this session will dive into treatment technologies reviewed and installed to address this growing concern, with a focus on destruction technologies having the potential to make PFAS no longer “forever chemicals”.

IWC 22-69: Ultra-Low Level PFAS Regulatory Requirements and Operational Learnings in PFAS Removal at Water & Wastewater Plants
Chris Scott, B.A., MBA, Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions, Trevose, PA; Elaine Towe, P.Eng., Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions, Oakville, ON, Canada

Recent PFAS regulations are becoming increasingly comprehensive and restrictive.

Accordingly, the treatment challenge is getting more demanding, which requires re-designed equipment and superior handling of media. This is true not only for spill and groundwater sites, but also for process water discharge and drinking water facilities.

As a consequence of ultra-low final PFAS effluent requirements, vessel design, cleanliness and pretreatment have become very important – even central – to the successful operation of PFAS water and wastewater treatment systems.

When a system’s PFAS removal media becomes exhausted, the inherent aspects of vessel design become key in how media is removed and replaced. Limitations in vessel design can result in media “hideout” within the vessel, which despite reasonable efforts to maintain vessel cleanliness, could contribute to off-spec final effluent water quality after re-bedding. To avoid this, rigorous procedures to remove residual contaminated media are required. These procedures are labor intensive, require additional vessel downtime, and involve confined-space entry to enter the vessels. This can have a large impact on the cumulative operating costs over the lifecycle of the facility and create an increased safety risk for operators performing this work.

In this paper, lessons learned at multiple full-scale PFAS removal systems in operation with carbon and ion exchange media are presented. We present challenges related to vessel design, cleanliness, and operating procedures.

Discusser: Cathy Swanson, Purolite, Fullerton, CA

IWC 22-70: Destructive Treatment Technologies for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Aqueous Media
Jim Claffey, Ph.D., P.E., Brown and Caldwell, Ramsey, NJ; Kevin Torrens, BCEEM, Brown and Caldwell, Ramsey, NJ; Krystal Perez, P.E., Brown and Caldwell, Seattle, WA; Andrew Safulko, P.E., Brown and Caldwell, Lakewood, CO

A major challenge associated with PFAS compounds propagating through the environment, largely as part of the water cycle, is their recalcitrance to conventional water treatment. Current technologies for PFAS treatment are based on adsorption and separation, not destruction. Accordingly, there is an urgent need to develop destructive treatment technologies that can disrupt “environmental recycling.”  The efficacy and relative economics of various emerging PFAS-destructive treatment technologies that reflect consideration of site-specific treatment conditions will be provided.

Discusser: John Sherbondy, Newterra, Coraopolis, PA

IWC 22-71: PFAS Destruction in Water using BDD Electrodes Electrooxidation: Cost-Effective? In Which Conditions?
Valérie Léveillé, WSP Golder, Montréal, Québec Canada; Éric Bergeron, WSP Golder, Montréal, Québec, Canada; Giovanna Llamosas, WSP Golder, Montréal, Québec, Canada; Imad Touahar, WSP Golder, Montréal, Québec, Canada; Jinxia Liu, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

This paper will discuss lab-scale treatment results of ground and industrial waters using a novel electrochemical oxidation (EO) process employing long-lasting boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes. The goal is to present the water matrix dependent treatment efficiency and capital and operating costs of this process on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), assess its effects on PFAS precursors, perchlorate generation, and water pH and temperature.

Discusser: Francisco Barajas, AECOM, Austin, TX

IWC 22-72: Electrochemical Destruction of PFAS in Concentrated Waste Streams
Orren D. Schneider, Ph.D., P.E., Aclarity, Inc., Adley, MA

Electrochemical tests were performed on high salinity synthetic and landfill leachate waters to degrade PFOA and PFOS. These experiments showed these compounds are degraded by the reactor from initial levels >5 µg/L to <10 ng/L with power requirements of <0.5 kW-hr/gal. Examination of by-products show that some perfluorinated byproducts are formed, but >90% mineralization was achieved. The rate constants derived from these experiments showed that for a given condition, the presence of background organic matter did not significantly impact the destruction of these compounds.

Discusser: Beth Landale P.E. P.Eng., GHD, Farmington Hills, MI

Back to top

W4: Wastewater 2: Wastewater Treatment Innovations, Improvements, and Optimizations

IWC Rep: Max Brefeld, Toyota Motors North America, Georgetown, KY
Session Chair: Julie Horan, HDR, Inc., St. Louis, MO
Discussion Leader: Jaron Stanley, WesTech, Salt Lake City, UT

Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

What’s new in wastewater? Innovation and optimization of treatment technologies is necessary to address water scarcity, improve treatment economics, and comply with new and tightening quality requirements. This session’s papers will discuss innovative technologies and improvements to existing technologies for wastewater treatment. The papers in this session will focus on case studies from recent projects. Treatment technologies covered in this session’s papers include membrane bioreactors, high recovery membrane desalination, advanced oxidation processes, and bioaugmentation.

IWC 22-73: 15 Years of Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Experience for Industrial Wastewater
Sara Arabi, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, MBA, Stantec, Fort Collins, CO

In the last 15 years, Membrane Bioreactors (MBRs) have become common for industrial wastewater treatment. This paper presents the progress and applications of MBRs which provides the benefit of biological treatment process in a compact footprint and solids liquid separation for a high-quality effluent. In this paper, lessons learned and challenges from design and operation of MBR plants for industrial wastewaters are presented. MBRs provide the pretreatment required for other treatment technologies such as Reverse Osmosis (RO) where wastewater reuse and recycle or PFAS removal is targeted.

The key design considerations for MBR include selection of membrane flux rates for cold temperature operations, influent characterization, and design of equalization basins. Some of the key operational considerations for MBR plants are nutrient balance for macro-nutrients (where nitrogen or phosphorus are limiting the biological growth) and micro-nutrients, membrane fouling mitigation, and foaming issues.

Discusser: Srikanth Muddasani, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc., McDonald, PA

IWC 22-74: High Recovery Electrochemical Desalination for Tertiary Wastewater Treatment
Chad Unrau, MI Systems, Houston, TX; Sunil Mehta, MI Systems, Houston, TX

Minimum and Zero Liquid Discharge applications often require high recovery membrane desalination to make treatment and performance targets economically feasible. Water recovery in membrane desalination is typically limited by scale formation from silica and partially soluble salts such as calcium sulfate. In addition, chemical and energy consumption can often make the operating cost of a project prohibitive. The latest evolution of electrodialysis reversal enables high recovery desalination of brackish waters without concentrating silica due to its neutral charge. Polarity reversal naturally mitigates scaling from partially soluble salts and energy consumption is minimized with the lastest innovations of the technology. Finally, electrodialysis reversal enables the tuning of the product output to deliver the required user treatment level. This feature minimizes over-treatment of the water which in turn minimizes energy consumption and it minimizes the amount of scaling ions transferred to the brine. As such, higher recoveries can be achieved with lower risk of scale formation.

An exemplary project that highlights the capabilities of the latest advancements in electrodialysis reversal is a pilot project conducted by MI Systems for tertiary treatment of a California WWTP effluent. The water quality for the plant is 1600 ppm TDS, 187 – 200 ppm chloride and ~30 ppm silica. The objective of the pilot study was to reduce chloride concentrations to meet effluent discharge limits <100 ppm chloride and to demonstrate 95% water recovery. Water recovery is critical for this client as opex limitations necessitated the need for onsite handling of the brine with minimal space available to do so. The system operated at an average water recovery of 95% and an average SEC of 0.5 kWh/m3. The system was able to consistently meet target chloride concentrations < 100 ppm within the pilot study period by tuning the applied voltage without over-treating the water. The concentration of silica remained unchanged in the influent and effluent streams of the system due to its neutral charge. As a comparison, for this type of water, a typical RO system would operate at a maximum of ~90% recovery due to high silica concentrations and would require the use of antiscalant. Demonstrating 95% water recovery was critical for this client as this level of recovery enables the use of small onsite evaporation ponds to handle the minimal brine production at full scale. A 200 gpm system is currently be constructed and installed for this client in 2022.

Discusser: Nicole Bartoletta, McKim & Creed, Inc., Sewickley, PA

IWC 22-75: Ultraviolet Advanced Oxidation Processes for 1,4-Dioxane Destruction In Bench-Scale and Pilot-Scale Units
Roberto Silva De Faria, Evoqua Water Technologies LLC, Pittsburgh, PA; Mohsen Ghafari, Ph.D., Simon Dukes, and Joshua Griffis, Evoqua Water Technologies LLC, Tewksbury, MA

Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have proven to be more effective for destruction water contaminants compared to conventional treatment processes. Currently, many water resources and municipal wastewater influents contain recalcitrant compounds. This study demonstrates the potential of UV-H2O2 mediated AOP for destruction of 1,4-dioxane. At a pilot scale, efficient onsite generation of H2O2 oxidant resulted in a scalable, cost-effective method for organic contaminants destruction when paired with UV-AOP technology.

Discusser: Harley Schreiber, WesTech Engineering, Salt Lake City, UT

IWC 22-76: Improved Biological Nutrient Removal by integrating bioaugmentation in the wastewater collection system
Dimitris Chrysochoou, Tradeworks Environmental, Mississauga, ON Canada

A municipal WWTP in Atlantic Canada was facing challenges meeting ammonia effluent criteria especially during winter months. Integration of bioaugmentation into the wastewater collection system was implemented to assist with ammonia removal. The project started over 2 years ago and it is still undergoing to date due to the results. The results showed that the bioaugmentation application was successful, improving the nutrient removal in the WWTP and avoiding its decommission while saving money to the community amongst others.

Discusser: Bridget Finnegan, P.E., CDT, ENV SP, GHD, Allison Park, PA

Back to top