Project Synopsis

Detailed design reviews, during pre-startup activities, of operating systems at a catalytic extraction waste treatment facility.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client to perform detailed design reviews of three operating systems of a catalytic extraction waste treatment facility as part of pre-startup activities.  The systems reviewed included:

  • Liquid ion exchange column used to remove cesium from gas cleaning system scrubber liquor
  • Wastewater treatment system used to treat facility liquid effluent
  • High temperature ceramic filter used to remove particulate from the extraction reactor offgas.

The purpose of the ion exchange column design review was to determine if the selected column media could meet performance requirements for cesium removal, and, if not, select a media that could meet the performance requirements.  Computer mass balance modeling was performed for the purpose of determining column loadings and the adequacy of the previously-selected media.  The modeling showed that the chosen media could not meet column performance requirements; as such, a technical and economic evaluation was executed for the purpose of identifying a suitable media.

The wastewater treatment system was evaluated primarily for the purpose of determining whether or not the system as previously designed could meet effluent permit requirements for metals concentrations.  PROCESS developed a comprehensive computer mass balance model for the purpose of simulating system operation, including predicting metals solubilities under various treatment conditions.  It was determined that the system as originally designed could not remove some metals to the regulatory limits.  PROCESS determined the required system design changes, and these were incorporated prior to plant startup.

The high temperature ceramic filter was evaluated primarily for the purpose of determining if the pulse jet system designed for on-line removal of solids from the filter was adequate for the application.  A unique time-dependent mechanical energy balance computer model was developed to determine pulse system response time as well as filter pressure drops during pulsing events.  It was determined that the system response time was adequate such that the filters could be pulsed and the pressure drop controlled during normal operation.  Several pulse system controls modifications were recommended, however, in order to increase response time and improve overall system performance.

In addition to these tasks, PROCESS was requested by the client to review overall plant water and air balances in order to verify the original system design basis.  Water and air balance diagrams were prepared to this end.

Industry Type

  • Industrial Waste Treatment

Utilized Skills

  • Time-dependent mechanical energy balance computer modeling
  • Computer process simulation
  • Detail design reviews
  • Waste water treatment system evaluation

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