Case study 5 - Total, France

Towards integrated water management system in petrochemical site

Led by Total, France

Situation: Wastewater and cooling water streams with organic and inorganic loads and high flows at a petrochemical site is in the focus of the case study 5. The site has a high consumption rate for cooling and boiler feed. The current water scheme already involves recycling loop in the cooling circuit.

Industry site characteristics: Enhanced recycling in cooling and process circuit, wastewater reuse in cooling and operation / production processes.

Success indicators: Reduce freshwater dependency by up to 30%. Reduce energy demand.


The aim is to develop a new water management system that integrates three major water streams with solutions to be developed and demonstrated for their recycling or reuse: plant wastewaters, water stream in the cooling circuit loop, water blow down of the cooling circuit. The main components to be controlled are aromatic compounds for the wastewater treatment plant and inorganics for blow downs (cooling water & boiler).

The program to be carried out on the petrochemical site aim the demonstration of reduction of withdrawal intake by at least 40 % while improving the quality of the wastewater for compliance with future regulations particularly on micropollutants discharge.
This overall objective falls into scientific, technical and economical objectives:

• Develop treatment technologies for water streams.
• Develop selective treatment technologies and combination thereof for recycling and reuse of various water streams for cooling water make up and/or in other operation/production processes.
• Develop an innovative and cost effective water scheme unlocking limitations of state-of-the-art “Zero” Liquid Discharge scheme.
• Optimize, demonstrate and evaluate the components of the new water management system, integrate it
• Assess the benefits of the resulting water management system.

Specific objectives are:

• Know the sources of wastewaters with their origin in the process and their pollution load.
• Define the target requirements (criteria for water quality) for recycling and reuse of wa-ter depending on the production process and water use at the demonstration site.
• Develop the flow sheet for treatment and recycling/reuse of effluents.
• Select the most promising technologies and combination thereof for next operation at the demonstration site.
• Assess the performances of the treatment units installed regarding the target requirements and the quality variation for the water streams
• Assess the technico-economical applicability of the solution developed

The treatment trains designed in technology development will be tested and demonstrated on-site to prove the feasibility of integrating cooling and process water cycles. The resulting treatment train concepts will be applicable for the whole petrochemical industry in Europe and globally.

This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 280756.

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