Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania


337 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Technical Sessions

W1: High Recovery Reverse Osmosis: Pushing the Boundaries

IWC Rep: Elke Peirtsegaele, ZwitterCo, Carpinteria, CA
Session Chair: Matthew Flannigan, Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company, Chicago, IL
Discussion Leader: Jason Monnell, Ph.D., EPRI, Charlotte, NC

Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

High Recovery RO represents a promising approach that allows for maximizing efficiency, a reduced water footprint, and addresses the challenges posed by limited water supplies. This session will highlight experts, researchers, and industry leaders who have made significant contributions in the field of High Recovery RO, delving into the latest breakthroughs, cutting-edge techniques, and real-world applications that showcase the immense potential of this evolution in reverse osmosis technology.

IWC 23-61: Cherokee High Recovery Reverse Osmosis TDS Reduction Project
Tal Fabian and Roi Zaken, IDE Technologies, Kadima, Israel

Cherokee Metropolitan District is lowering the Total Dissolved Solids of their effluent to below 400 mg/l, to meet regulatory requirements by adding a membrane bioreactor and a high recovery (90-95%) reverse osmosis system. The RO system uses a novel technology, which is a semi-batch process that implements alternating hydraulic and osmotic conditions that significantly reduces the tendency for scaling and biofouling. In this presentation, results from the first few months of operation will be presented.

Discusser: Tom Imbornone, Avista Technologies, Inc., San Marco, CA

IWC 23-62: Don’t Throw that Brine Away! Desalinate it with OARO
Richard Stover, Ph.D., GP Water, Woburn, MA; Michael Boyd, Gradiant Corporation, Woburn, MA

This paper presents a case study of osmotically-assisted reverse osmosis (OARO) applied to double drinking water output from an existing desalination plant with no new intake, outfall or pretreatment. Designed to produce 352 (gpm) (80 m3/h) of drinking water from brine with a TDS of over 72,000 mg/l, the OARO reject stream reaches a TDS of 145,000 mg/L at operating pressures of less than 1,100 psi (75 bar).

Discusser: Robert Boysen, P.E., PMP, Garver, Greenwood Village, CO

IWC 23-63: Challenges and Opportunities in Ultra-High Pressure Reverse Osmosis Operation
Jishan Wu and Eric Hoek, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Herein, we evaluate the performance (i.e., flux and rejection) of commercially-available, thin-film composite brackish water RO (BWRO), seawater RO (SWRO), and high-pressure RO (HPRO) membranes operating at pressures from 14 to 207 bar (200 to 3,000 psi). The main challenges and opportunities associated with ultra-high-pressure RO (UHPRO) are identified and discussed.

Discusser: Seong Hoon Yoon, Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company, Naperville, IL

IWC 23-64: Process Innovations in Ultra-High-Pressure Reverse Osmosis for ZLD, MLD, and Brine Mining Applications
Eli Oklejas and Lester Burton, FEDCO, Monroe, MI

A new generation of components allowing for ultra-high pressure (>83 bar/1,200 psi) reverse osmosis (RO) has opened up horizons for more affordable and efficient approaches to brine concentration. This paper offers a survey of relevant case studies using this approach, and offers recommendations for process designers looking to improve their brine concentration operations.

The paper first presents a summary of options for ultra-high pressure RO systems. At the core of these systems are specialised RO membranes, pressure vessels, couplings, and hydraulic equipment. We highlight the choice between single-stage and brine-staged RO, and show the relative advantages of relying on centrigufal ERDs in a brine-staged RO system when designing for ultra-high pressure.

Discusser: Nik Mehta, NX Filtration, Los Angeles, CA

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W2: The Coolest Ways to Understand and Treat Your Cooling System

IWC Rep: William Kennedy, P.E., Stantec, Charlotte, NC
Session Chair: Jim Woods, ClearStream Environmental, Sandy, UT
Discussion Leader: Juan Meneses, Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company, Minneapolis, MN

Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Cooling water systems are critical industrial unit operations. This session is for all designers, engineers and operators who are seeking understanding of corrosion, scale and bio fouling mechanisms and prevention. The papers in this session provide insights and real world experience dealing with these issues to provide enhanced cooling system performance.

IWC 23-65: Novel Yellow Metal Corrosion Inhibitor for Multifunctional (Single Drum) Applications in Cooling Water Treatment
Anupam Prakash, Jeffrey Atkins, Malgorzala Krawczyk, Bingzhi Chen, and Craig Myers, Nalco, an Ecolab Company, Naperville, IL

Yellow metal corrosion during elevated levels of halogenation (such as to control Legionella Risk) is one of the cost drivers for heat exchangers made from copper or brass metallurgy in water cooled chillers, pharmaceutical and microelectronics industries among many other industries. The current technology of Benzotriazole (BZT) and Tolytriazole (TT) degrade in presence of high halogenation in cooling water, increases the yellow metal corrosion rates and degrade performance of water treatment. In addition, BZT and TT are not environmentally friendly and have higher toxicity at the point of discharge.

Novel Benzimidazole (BMDZ) based chemistry, is a greener, less toxic, a significant better performance on yellow metal corrosion inhibition (even in high halogenated waters) alternative when compared to existing Azole chemistries in identical test environments. This paper summarizes 1) the high-level summary and comparison between commercially available yellow metal inhibitors and BMDZ from featured aspects, such as free chlorine stability, toxicity, and blending, 2) and the Pilot Cooling Tower (PCT) data of the formulated multifunctional products with BMDZ in representative application scenarios. In conclusion, the superior performance of BMDZ chemistry is evident in the PCT experimental studies and is a significant upgrade over existing yellow metal inhibitor technology.

Discusser: Erin Diven, Stantec, West Chester, PA

IWC 23-66: Terminology and Mechanisims of Mineral Scale Formation and Inhibition
Jasbir S. Gill, Ph.D., Water Energy Solutions, Inc., Naperville, IL

Terminology, like cluster formation, seeding, nucleation (homogeneous and heterogenous), crystal formation, transportation of crystals to the heat exchangers and deposit formation are reviewed. The paper discusses the basic mechanisms of crystal growth and mineral precipitation as well its management. Scale inhibitor’s interactions from nucleation to deposit formation, threshold inhibition, crystal morphology and surface charge modifications are clarified. Different inhibitor molecules interact differently during the aforesaid steps to manage fouling. Water-borne fouling requires different class of inhibitor molecules than the water-born fouling.

Discusser: Brad Buecker, Buecker & Associates, Lawrence, KS

IWC 23-67: Field Experiences of Engineered Copper Film (ECP) technologies for Cooling Water Systems
Jacob Tilley and Carl Peterson, Veolia WTS, Tomball, TX USA; Eric Zubovic and Paul Frail, Veolia WTS, Trevose, PA

This paper presents the field experience of implementing a new Engineered Copper Film Technology for copper and copper alloy corrosion inhibition in broad commercial practice.  The applications presented will discuss the field results in various cooling environments, multiple water conditions, and the comparison to previous azole technologies in the same environments. Unlike traditional azoles, the ECP technology has a much friendlier environmental footprint and is much more resistant to halogen degradation.

Discusser: Ryan Ross, Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

IWC 23-68: Dual Active Biocide Provides Broad Spectrum Performance in Industrial Water
Naresh Kanderi and Matthew Bernhart, Italmatch USA, Smyrna, GA

1. Describe advantages of dual active biocide concept.
2. Present comparative efficacy data versus traditional non-oxidizing biocides.
3. Confirm performance with results under field conditions in actual operating industrial water systems.
The uncontrolled growth of microorganisms in industrial water systems can lead to several negative issues including loss of efficiency, enhanced corrosion, and potential health risks. Non-oxidizing biocides play a critical role in controlling microbial growth in industrial water systems. A wide variety of non-oxidizing biocides are available to the water treatment professional however, they are not always effective due to narrow spectrum of biocidal activity, slow speed of kill, or compatibility issues. Obviously, there is a need in the industrial water treatment industry for a non-oxidizing biocide which overcomes the limitations of currently available non-oxidizing biocides. We report here on the combination of two biocidal actives, the potent bactericide 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (BNPD) and the algicide didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, into one product. This combination results in a fast acting, broad spectrum non-oxidizing biocide with excellent compatibility with scale and corrosion inhibitors, and fluorescent tracers. Comparative efficacy studies and field trial data have demonstrated the excellent performance of this biocide combination. The results of these evaluations are discussed, and treatment recommendations are presented.

Discusser: Chris Baron, ChemTreat, Newark, DE

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W3: Coal, Residuals, and the Facilities that Love Them

IWC Rep: Scott Quinlan, P.E., TetraTech, Pittsburgh, PA
Session Chair: John Van Gehuchten, P.E., McKim & Creed, Sewickley, PA
Discussion Leader: Phil Benson, Geosyntec Consultants, Washington, DC

Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Coal Combustion Residuals, and the associated waters of, are on ongoing target of regulation and increasing scrutiny in the water community. This session goes through many of the management, treatment, and fate of CCR waters.

IWC 23-69: ELG Revisions – 2015 2020 2023 Edition
Bryan D. Hansen, P.E., Doug Randall, and Jason Eichenberger, Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, MO

The EPA issued proposed revisions to the Steam Electric Power Generating ELGs in March 2023. The EPA created an ‘early adopter’ subcategory for plants that have achieved compliance with earlier ELG revisions. These ELG revisions now define BAT for FGD wastewater and bottom ash transport water as ZLD. For combustion residual leachate BAT is defined as chemical precipitation with limits for mercury and arsenic. This paper discusses the proposed ELG rule changes and the implications.

Discusser: Lindy Johnson, Stantec, Everett, WA

IWC 23-70: Troubleshooting Treatment Failures – Lessons Learned
Thomas E. Higgins, Ph.D., P.E., Worley, St. Augustine, FL

I have trouble shot treatment failures, including poor clarifier performance, failures of clarifiers and filters to remove TSS, pipe plugging, inability to handle design flows, pump and mixer failures, and failure to meet effluent metals limits.

Root causes include chemistry, pH control, materials of construction, mix tank geometry and mixing intensity.

Solutions included pH control; chemicals and operating pH, changing mixers and pumps, sludge recirculation, line flushing, dip tubes and sequence of chemical addition.

Discusser: Daniel Sampson, HDR, Walnut Creek, CA

IWC 23-71: Water Treatment and Performance Implications of US EPA’s Affirmation of High Recycle Rate Bottom Ash Transport Systems for Coal-Fired Utilities
David Donkin and Bernie Evans, UCC Environmental, Waukegan, IL

As regulations drive coal fired utilities to operate bottom ash transport systems as zero liquid discharge closed loops, water chemistry, corrosion and scaling increasingly become areas for study and concern.  Trends in water characteristics and applicable water treatment technologies, which can include chemical programs and equipment investments will increasingly become a needed focus area for these utilities to assure reliable operations.

Discusser: Dallas Torgersen, WesTech Engineering, Salt Lake City, UT

IWC 23-72: Selenium Removal via Electro-reduction to Meet Increasingly Stringent Regulations: A Case Study for the Power Sector
Kresimir Ljubetic, Maryam Mohammadi, H.C. Liang, and David Kratochvil, BQE Water, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Selenium has drawn increasing attention as a constituent of concern in wastewater across different industries in recent years. At coal-fired power plants, the flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater stream requires treatment to comply with stringent effluent limitation guidelines for selenium. This paper presents bench scale testing results to assess the feasibility of the direct electro-reduction technology to treat FGD wastewater and the design considerations for full-scale implementation.

Discusser: Rangesh Srinivasan, Tetra Tech, Houston, TX

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W4: Water and Nutrient Management – Policy to Process

IWC Rep: Tom Lawry, McKim & Creed, Pittsburgh, PA
Session Chair: Diane Martini, Burns & McDonnell, Chicago, IL
Discussion Leader: Paul Brandt, P.E., Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, MO

Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

As the strains on water resources increase, water management and nutrient control become ever more important.  This session will look at water management considerations from a policy perspective, followed by plant level case studies, then look at recent developments in ammonia and nitrogen removal.

IWC 23-73: Navigating Greenhouse Gas Reporting and Other Policy Drivers to Inform Sustainable Water Management
Melissa Harclerode, Ph.D., CDM Smith, Edison, NJ

Recent policy drivers, such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and America’s Water Infrastructure Act, and customer demand have put new stressors on companies to report on and better manage their energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and socioeconomic impact. Trying to address this growing requirement can overwhelm companies with the number of sustainability strategy options and no clear path that makes sense.

A recently formalized SustainAlytics framework addresses this very issue. The framework provides an approach that companies can use to develop planning roadmaps and identify sustainable solutions informed by a baseline assessment of the economic, environmental, and societal elements they need to address. Navigating through the SustainAlytics framework will enable companies to clearly represent the true value of water and/or decarbonization, and promote sustainable investment.

Discusser: Anthony Amendola, Newterra, Burlington, ON, Canada

IWC 23-74: Ammonia Removal using Zeolites: Bench Scale Assessment and Scalability Considerations
Kresimir Ljubetic, Link Ding, H.C. Liang, and David Kratochvil, BQE Water, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Ammonia is a common contaminant in wastewaters in different industries, and it is regulated for discharge into the environment due to its aquatic toxicity and nutrient role. Traditional methods to remove ammonia include breakpoint chlorination and biological treatments, both of which have drawbacks for treating industrial wastewaters. This paper presents a bench scale assessment to understand the feasibility of implementing zeolites to remove ammonia from mine-impacted water.

Discusser: Stephen Wheeler, ResinTech, Camden, NJ

IWC 23-75: Best Practices & Lessons Learned for the Operation of Aboveground Storage Tank Facilities
Samantha Sheehan, John Van Gehuchten, P.E., and Nicole Stafford, McKim & Creed, Inc., Sewickley, PA

Aboveground storage tank (AST) facilities are crucial to the successful operation of large water gathering and recycling systems in the oil and gas industry. As a mixture of water quality can enter each facility from many different locations and methods of transport, it is important to design the facility with ease of operation in mind. There are many different coordination procedures and technologies available to increase the efficiency of operation in AS facilities.
This paper will discuss two case studies involving recently constructed oil & gas AST facilities. For each case study, benefits and challenges will be discussed for the design, construction, and operational flow of the facility. A review will be given of the truck loading/unloading processes, pipeline tie-ins, water quality monitoring procedures, condensate management methods, solids settling, and overall coordination procedures for each facility. The paper will also discuss best practices for the design of oil and gas AST facilities determined based on lessons learned from the case studies.

Discusser: Jeffrey Steinwinder, Brown and Caldwell, Nashville, TN

IWC 23-76: Upgrading of Lagoon Treatment to Meet New Ammonia Limits using MBBR
Chandler Johnson, World Water Works, Inc., Oklahoma City, OK USA; Scott Langner, DemKota Beef, Aberdeen, SD

A slaughter house in South Dakota needed to upgrade its lagoon treatment system to meet new effluent ammonia limits of < 20 mg/L.  A new single-stage closed top MBBR followed by DAF for solids separation was chosen since its capable of treating wide ranges of loadings, operate under wide temperature ranges with a consistent effluent quality in a small footprint.  Within 8 weeks after start-up, the system was under the effluent limit.

Discusser: Anthony Zamarro, P.E., CDM Smith, Boston, MA

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