Water, energy and air solutions specialist Nalco Africa reports significant reductions in fresh-water demand and wastewater discharge for several customers that implemented the 3D TRASAR Technology for Cooling Water in their efforts to support environmental protection.
“While manufacturing companies face increasing legislative pressure to lower their consumption of natural resources, to reduce associated emissions and waste, a key aim of the 3D TRASAR technology for cooling water is to enhance cooling systems’ efficiency and help companies meet their sustainability goals,” says Nalco Africa water and process services marketing communications specialist Brett Dunbar.
The 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water automation technology enhances performance by combining chemistry, sensors, algorithms, hardware and software to provide online, real-time performance-based detection ability and control measures, he explains.
In light of this, Nalco Africa has installed 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water units at about 60 operations across Africa, including in the South African power generation, automotive and refinery industries, since 2010.
Dunbar cites various case studies from the past two years as key examples, highlighting the results from a nitric acid fertiliser plant, in the Free State province.
The plant implemented the 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water and achieved a 20% reduction in fresh-water demand, saving 22 750 m3 of potable water each year. The plant also reduced the wastewater discharge by 20%, or 22 750 m3 of effluent, he says.
Meanwhile, tyre producer Apollo Tyres reported that its fresh-water demand and wastewater discharge were each reduced by 5 600 m3, or 23%, a year through the water use enhancement provided by the 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water.
Another example includes the results achieved by a refinery in the Western Cape. The refinery encountered difficulties with the management of the water-cooling system on site, while the heat exchanger bundles had to be cleaned regularly, as a result of biofouling and associated underdeposit corrosion.
Dunbar cites the case study of the refinery when stating that using the 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water and the mechanical, operational and chemical (MOC) approach resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of oxidising biocide and other commodity treatment consumables required.
“Further, the use of chlorine was reduced by 50% a year using the Nalco programme, while the cleaning of the heat exchangers was eliminated and production increased,” he adds.
Nalco Africa notes that the programme also eliminated the risks to staff associated with the cleaning activity, delivered significant maintenance cost savings of R1.2-million a year and increased revenue by R87-million a year for the refinery.
Features of 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water include “asset protection, which avoids premature and costly replacement of nonrenewable materials; scale and fouling control, which enhances energy efficiency and reduces carbon dioxide emissions; and precise control of system microbiology to assure enhanced system operation and protect public health; while better resource management decreases costly renewable resources demand and safeguards public water supplies”, the company states.
The 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water also “meets the requirements of the best available techniques for industrial cooling systems under the European Union Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control legislation in the categories of increasing overall energy efficiency, reducing water use, emissions to air and emissions to water”, Dunbar points out.
However, Nalco believes that environmental protection does not only pertain to fauna and flora, water and air, but also to people, he stresses.
Owing to the proven water use reduction results and reduced energy use, demand for the 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water and for Nalco’s other expertise and innovation is increasing, Dunbar says.
In light of this, Nalco Africa expanded its sales and marketing staff from 11 to over 80 in the past four years to accommodate the growing South African market, as well as the East, Central and West Africa markets, he notes.
“The 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water has the potential to make a meaningful impact on water management in South Africa, which is such a water-scarce environment,” Dunbar says, highlighting Nalco’s belief that the country’s industry will continue to be productive despite reducing water and energy use, while still benefiting from increased profit, productivity and providing better-quality products.
He further believes that demand for the 3D TRASAR technology for Cooling Water, not only for cooling water treatment, but also for boiler and membrane treatment, will significantly increase in future. “Because South Africa currently has a tough economy, there is a need and demand to drive decreased water and energy use.”