BASF upgrades to BIOdek for improved biofilter productivity
The BASF plc factory at Bradford, Yorkshire has 11 main facilities on a 50-acre plot and is one of the largest and most productive single site-chemical plants in the UK. Every year the plant manufactures 250,000 tonnes of chemical product, most of which is used in industries such as paper making, mining, oil extraction, wastewater treatment and textile processing. The site also manufactures ingredients used in home and personal care products.
For companies in the chemical manufacturing industry, effective wastewaster (effluent) treatment and management can be a tough call. The effluent generated by chemical manufacturers will typically be hard to treat because it contains high volumes of contaminants, toxins and organic waste. Because many different materials, processes and water sources are used in the production of a particular chemical, the volume, quality and composition of wastewater (effluent) streams can vary widely. Where many different products are being manufactured simultaneously on a single site, such as the BASF plc plant in Bradford, Yorkshire, effluent treatment can present a significant and complex challenge.
After 35 years ’ service, a Davenport biofilter was delivering unacceptable levels of COD reduction, c. 30-40 per cent, and compromising the efficiency of the treatment process. The biofilter ’s distribution system and packing media were both showing signs of significant damage which was creating further blockages and restricting flow paths. Given the Davenport’s age, BASF opted for replacing it with a more up-to-date version of biofilter technology.
The contract was awarded to ACWA Services Ltd who asked 2H Water Technologies to design and supply a combination of cross and vertical flow BIOdek structured plastic media to replace the Flocor media used in the Davenport biofilter.
The result was:
MEDIA TYPE: BIOdek KFP627 cross flow and KVP vertical flow media
FILTER SIZE: 18.53m x 9.71m rectangular section
MEDIA SURFACE AREA: 125m2/m3
MEDIA VOLUME: 1.080m3
MEDIA BED DEPTH: 6m
BIOdek offers a more productive, energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative which is ideal for use in chemical effluent treatment plants . Because the BIOdek media has a greater surface area, it provides more processing efficiency than Flocor without any increased risk of blockage. While the Flocor installation was constructed from glued blocks with vertical tubes, BIOdek is welded, without any use of adhesives, and has ribbed, vertical tubes which not only offers high mechanical strength but also further minimizes the potential for blockage.
The top two layers of BIOdek media are formed from welded blocks with a 60 degree cross-flow structure which greatly improves distribution into the vertical media layers beneath. The structure also ensures that all the media in the biofilter is being utilised to maximum effect. Another significant difference between the two types of media is that the BIOdek is made from polypropylene (PP) which is a more inert material than the PVC used in Flocor.
Using BIOdek in an industrial effluent treatment solution has significant energy-saving and environmental benefits because PP is a more sustainable material which can re-used or recycled.