Articles & Case Studies

Siemens commissions MBR testing facility at Changi Water Reclamation Plant in Singapore - Full-scale testing to focus on increased energy savings, operational efficiency

Posted: Friday 6th August 2010

Siemens Water Technologies in Singapore and the PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, are collaborating on a membrane bioreactor (MBR) testing facility at PUB’s Changi Water Reclamation Plant. The recently commissioned 1.0 million liter/day (250,000 gpd) MBR system treats domestic wastewater at the Changi plant, which is part of the first phase of the Singapore Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) project. The test facility will allow Siemens’ R&D personnel to validate new, innovative design parameters quickly, and under real conditions.

The test facility will allow Siemens’ R&D personnel to validate new, innovative

“We will look at new ways to operate the plant and make even greater improvements to the MBR system’s innovative air scour process,” says Ruediger Knauf, Vice President of R&D for Siemens Water Technologies. “We will also be looking at developing and testing new MBR technology, with the ultimate goal of providing our customers with the most sustainable, energy efficient product, and more control over plant operations.” The testing facility incorporates the Siemens MBR system, a unique wastewater treatment process that combines activated sludge biological treatment with Memcor membrane filtration system. The system generates rapid pulses at each MBR module using a continuous air flow. This pulsed airlift technology increases scouring effectiveness and reduces energy consumption. System benefits include: decreased operating and maintenance costs, and increased ease of use, as there are no moving parts in the membrane air scour process; 30-50% reduction in air scour energy use; and ease of retrofitting to existing systems. This MBR research and development program allows the project team to test the membrane operating system (MOS) of the pulsed airlift technology and optimize performance under extreme and normal operating environments. The full-scale plant allows testing to take place in a carefully controlled and monitored environment. The expected result is improvements in overall lower energy use and system maintenance for MBRs. The program is based on detailed Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) analysis carried out over the last two years, which is a result of a close collaboration between the Siemens Water Technologies R&D Center and the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) in Singapore.

Siemens and Aramco Overseas Company, B.V. enter exclusive licensing agreement for a new water reuse system under joint development.

Siemens Water Technologies Corp. and Aramco Overseas Company, B.V., a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, have signed an exclusive patent and technology license agreement for the commercialization of the EcoRight membrane bioreactor (MBR), a new wastewater treatment and water reuse system. The agreement grants Siemens the right to market and sell the first-of-its-kind system, which integrates membrane bioreactor technology with additional purification processes to treat highly organic wastewaters, ensuring the cost-effective reuse of difficult-to-treat wastewater.

The new wastewater treatment system promises to be a next generation MBR system which combines three technologies into a single wastewater treatment step.

As fresh water supplies globally continue to become more expensive and scarce, Saudi Aramco looked for ways to recover and reuse its water supply to reduce the impact on the local fresh water supply. As an extension of Siemens’ and Saudi Aramco‘s long-standing customer relationship, the two companies and their various subsidiary companies came together on a joint technology development project. The new wastewater treatment system, first envisioned by Saudi Aramco and now under joint development by Siemens Water Technologies and Aramco Services Company, another Saudi Aramco subsidiary company, promises to be a next generation MBR system, which combines three technologies into a single wastewater treatment step. “This technology development and commercialization project is truly a team effort. Saudi Aramco came to Siemens with the creative concept, and Siemens is applying its technical know-how to help turn an idea into a commercial reality,” said Chuck Gordon, CEO of Siemens Water Technologies. “Promotion and support of innovative ideas is one of Saudi Aramco’s strategic objectives. Saudi Aramco’s long experience in operating a wide range of wastewater treatment systems provided valuable knowledge and insight, which helped to formulate the innovative ideas leading to the development of the EcoRight MBR. This innovation, combined with Siemens’ capabilities as a world-class developer of wastewater treatment technologies culminated in the development of the EcoRight MBR. We believe this valuable new technology will enable industrial facilities to realize water conservation through expanding the horizons of industrial wastewater reuse“, said Isam Bayat Vice President, Saudi Aramco Engineering Service. The EcoRight MBR, which was the result of a successful collaboration between Saudi Aramco and Siemens inventors, will further enhance wastewater treatment for meeting stringent regulatory requirements and water reuse applications. The EcoRight MBR could also significantly reduce the capital and operating costs compared to existing biological treatment technologies, and in most cases, allow the treated effluent to be reused, or fed directly to reverse osmosis (RO) equipment for reuse as boiler feed or cooling water, or meet stringent environmental discharge requirements. The system is currently under final technical evaluation and is anticipated to be commercially available in early 2011. Extensive pilot testing will begin in the next several months. Multiple patents are pending for the technology used in the system. In addition, to the EcoRight MBR, Siemens and Saudi Aramco are also developing and testing other wastewater treatment technologies which they hope to commercialize in the near future. Further information about solutions for water treatment is available at http://www.siemens.com/water.

Siemens to supply one of Brazil’s largest refineries with wastewater reuse solution

Siemens Water Technologies is working with Centroprojekt do Brasil S/A to supply an integrated wastewater technology solution to the Presidente Getulio Vargas Refinery (Repar) in Araucaria, Parana State, Brazil. The system will consist of API oil water separators, dissolved air flotation (DAF) units, walnut shell filter units, and a Petro MBR (membrane bioreactor) system. Scheduled to come online in 2012, the system is designed to pre-treat 450 m3/hr of the treated water for reuse as boiler feed water.

The Petro MBR system from Siemens Water Technologies.

The Repar refinery, which is owned and operated by Petrobras, is one of the largest industrial plants in southern Brazil, refining 31 million liters of oil daily. The refinery is responsible for roughly 12% of the country’s production of petroleum byproducts, which include LPG, gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oils, jet fuel, asphalt and naphtha. Siemens’ integrated wastewater reuse solution includes primary, secondary and tertiary oil/water separation. During the first stage of primary oil/water separation, three trains of API separators remove up to 80% of oil from refinery process water and storm run-off. The second stage oil/water separation involves two trains of DAF units that remove additional oil from the API separator effluent, with the aid of chemicals. Tertiary oil/water separation consists of four trains of Auto-Shell walnut shell filter units that remove additional oily contaminants from the water. Black walnut shell filters eliminate the need for flat media retention screens and can use as little as one media-scrubbing pump for up to eight filters, which simplifies the design and reduces the cost of multiple filter systems. This type of filtration removes three times the amount of oil and solids before cleaning is required. In the final stage, tertiary treatment removes dissolved organics as pre-treatment to effluent polishing/recycle-reuse. A Petro MBR system, comprised of two biological trains and four membrane trains, forms the heart of the reuse pre-treatment system. This Petro MBR system is especially designed for refinery service and treating oily wastewater, and combines various biological treatment processes with an integrated, immersed membrane system. Using membrane separation instead of conventional clarification processes offers several benefits, including a smaller system footprint, decreased sludge production, and improved operational stability – all in addition to exceptionally high-quality effluent production.




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