Articles & Case Studies

Stepping up seawater and process water treatment in Abu Dhabi

Posted: Thursday 8th July 2010

UF modules from German inge watertechnologies AG set to treat 80,000 m³ of water a day.

Ever since January 2009, modules supplied by the German ultrafiltration specialists inge watertechnologies AG have been steadily proving their worth purifying seawater from the Arabian Gulf – generally considered a hugely challenging task – and treating process water for a steel works. Emirates Steel Industries has now decided to increase their plant's capacity. From 2011, their water requirements are set to climb to 80,000 m³ a day.

Greifenberg, 31. May 2010 – Water from the Arabian Gulf is generally seen as a challenging prospect, with problems of high turbidity and organic and bacteriological contents coming to the fore in summer and creating major challenges for water treatment facilities. The algae bloom known as the red tide is a further phenomenon that has been causing a headache on the coasts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. All in all, any ultrafiltration systems used in these regions are dependent upon a high-performance, extremely resilient membrane with excellent anti-fouling properties that is capable of properly dealing with the water's organic content. The modules supplied by inge watertechnologies AG have proved more than capable of meeting these requirements ever since they came online in January 2009, and the German-made dizzer® modules have now been chosen for the project designed to expand the water treatment plant's capacity.

Membrane resilience is a key criteria
Making sure that the membrane you choose is highly resilient is a crucial factor – especially when it comes to a major project involving the treatment of 80,000 m³ of water a day. That is why the Italian plant construction firm Bernardinello Engineering S.p.A. chose to use the patented Multibore membrane from the acclaimed technology leader inge watertechnologies AG when they built the water treatment facility for a steel works run by Emirates Steel Industries in Mussafah, the industrial quarter of Abu Dhabi. The project to expand the plant will now see a total of 574 dizzer® 5000 plus modules – each featuring a 50m² membrane surface area – coming online from 2011 onwards in a layout of seven racks. The job of these modules is to pretreat the seawater to prepare it for reverse osmosis. The treated water is required for the steel production process. The UF facility is also used to treat the ‘blowdown water’ from the steel works’ cooling towers.
Ralf Krüger, the sales manager responsible for this project at inge watertechnologies AG, sums up what is required: “The mixture of seawater and process water in the treatment facility makes this project particularly challenging. Approximately 10 percent of the feedwater comes from the production process. The specific requirements stipulated for this facility included achieving SDI values below two – even though the raw water often has an SDI value in excess of 15. Fortunately the technology we supply is capable of reliably ensuring that kind of performance over the long term.”

As the CEO of inge watertechnologies Bruno Steis notes, the fact that inge watertechnologies offers a five-year warranty against membrane fiber breakage shows that the company's quality claims are not just an empty promise. He adds: “More than 500 plants around the globe are equipped with our patented, German-made technology. Our ultrafiltration systems have been working perfectly for more than seven years, and we have never had a single case of fiber breakage.”

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