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Aquatech ZLD solution cuts water use by 70% at Egyptian water treatment facility

Egypt’s first water treatment facility with an integrated zero liquid discharge (ZLD) plant has been commissioned to protect Egypt’s only life-giving aquifer, the River Nile.

The ZLD technology, provided global water purification technology developer Aquatech, has resulted in the plant reduce its fresh water demand by 70%.

Aquatech was awarded a contract in 2013 by the Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Co. (ETHYDCO), a subsidiary of Egyptian Holding Co. for Petrochemical (ECHEM), to provide a landmark water treatment facility.

The plant is installed at ETHYDCO’s petroleum derivatives production facility in Alexandria, where the company produces ethylene and other petroleum derivatives.

Designed and supplied by Aquatech, the plant treats wastewater from this facility and cooling tower blowdown to get cooling tower makeup water, boiler feed water, and achieve ZLD.

The feed to the plant is 1,119m3/hr – a composite mix of treated effluent and water from the Nile River, which experiences inconsistent water chemistry and unpredictable fluctuations throughout the year.

After studying three years of data, Aquatech developed a process design that could operate at seven pre-defined scenarios and adapt to prevailing site conditions.

Aquatech’s innovative solution integrates a combination of technologies and equipment configuration to achieve desired operational flexibility and treated water demands.

Components include a microfiltration system and high efficiency reverse osmosis (HERO) technology for achieving more than 97% recovery across membrane systems.

This is followed by QUA fractional electrodeionisation (FEDI) for high quality demineralised water production, a two-stage thermal system consisting of a brine concentrator and crystalliser to achieve ZLD, and a sludge treatment system.

Aquatech’s solution has resulted in the fresh water demand being reduced by 70%, from 2,600m3/hr to 800m3/hr.

Aquatech has executed several projects in Egypt, including seawater desalination systems and recycle/reuse plants.