Project Synopsis

Develop an FEL-1 level preliminary process for a new wastewater treatment plant to replace an aging system at a specialty chemical manufacturer.

Project Summary


The client, a world-wide manufacturer of specialty chemicals and materials, contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to assist with developing a Conceptual Process Design (FEL-1) of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to replace their aging WWTP at their Midwestern U.S. silica manufacturing facility.  The purpose of this effort was to evaluate the existing operation, define the wastewater treatment needs (present and future), and then evaluate different process technologies that may meet the goal of the new plant in a more cost effective manner than simply a replacement-in-kind design.  The technologies and design were refined further through a technical alternatives evaluation of the unit operations.  A preliminary process design package was then developed.

PROCESS acted as the process lead during the preliminary process design and was contracted to complete the following project tasks:

  • Inspect the existing wastewater systems at the facility
  • Perform a detailed review of both current and planned future expected expansions at the facility that may impose additional capacity requirements on the WWTP
  • Development of preliminary process design basis information
  • Execute technical and economic evaluations for various unit operations in an effort to design in improved performance, reliability, and/or reduce costs.
  • Develop a test plan for the proposed treatment alternatives. The results were utilized to develop equipment specifications and finalize the treatment process.
  • Finalize the design basis information which incorporated process improvements, capacity changes, etc.
  • Prepare a final mass and energy balance information, process flow diagrams (PFDs), and a process description.
  • Prepare a summary table of anticipated/estimated emissions from the new WWTP at maximum design operating conditions and at current operating conditions.
  • Prepare a preliminary (process design level, duty) summary table of specification information for all new major process equipment.  This table contained the process engineering requirements for each piece of equipment.
  • Develop new P&IDs for the proposed treatment systems to reflect what the new WWTP will look like.
  • Prepare a general process controls description.
  • Generate a conceptual equipment layout sketch of the new WWTP process in AutoCAD.
  • Develop a cost estimate for completing design, procurement, and construction of the three phases of the WWTP implementation.
  • Develop a preliminary project schedule phasing the installation to avoid production interruption.

The WWT process developed used a variety of common unit operations such as clarifiers, flocculation, pH control, slurry pumps, centrifugal pumps, filter press, and CO2 neutralization. Chemicals used in the process included silica (colloidal and reactive), sulfuric acid, lime, sodium hydroxide, and flocculation polymer. The client used the project information to submit for capital funding to develop the project to the next level.

Industry Type

  • Industrial Chemical Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • FEL-1 conceptual process design
  • Industrial wastewater treatment design

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