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Kolmetz.Com is a chemical engineering web site that publishes technical articles on distillation, process optimization, operations training, personal improvement, process unit safety and environmental concerns.

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Benchmarking Waste Water Treatment Systems

Karl Kolmetz

A. Sidney Dunn

Ayub Md. Som

Cheah Phaik Sim

Zainudin Mustaffa

prepared for

International Conference on Chemical and Bio-process Engineering
School of Engineering and Information Technology Universiti Malaysia Sabah
27 August 2003


Engineers today have a dual responsibility. There is the responsibility to produce the chemicals needed for food, medicine, and improvements in life style. Coupled with this need for chemical production is the need to produce these requirements with fewer impacts to the environment.

There are two routes to reduce the impacts to the environment. The first route is to develop processes that produce fewer unwanted by-products, the minimization of waste generation. The second route is the transformation of the unwanted by-products to streams of low environmental impact.

Each chemical plant constructed should include each of the routes. The transformation of the unwanted by-products to streams of low environmental impact is called the Waste Water Treatment System. It can process streams of various composition and transform them to the desired streams of low environmental impact.

The Waste Water Treatment System has a variety of unit operations. They include gravity separators, mechanical separators, filters, stripper towers, aeration and clarifiers basins, as well as others. The transformation of the by-product streams is based of the effectiveness of each of these unit operations.

Each of these unit operations has three values. 1) Industry Standard Design Value 2) Actual Design Value and 3) Present Operating Value. The difference between the values can be benchmarked to establish areas good operation and areas of opportunities for improvements.

An overview of each of the unit operations of a Waste Water Treatment System will be constructed and industry guidelines will be given for individual unit benchmarking.

Introduction to the paper


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