Huntsman is a global chemical company operating from multiple locations worldwide.
454-460 Somerville Road, West Footscray, VIC, 3012
At West Footscray, they make petrochemical products including styrene, polystyrene and expansible polystyrene. These are used when manufacturing paints, latex, white goods, car seats, building materials (e.g. insulation), and packaging (e.g. food containers, CD covers, etc).
Huntsman has installed a new condensate recovery system in its Styrene Plant at West Footscray. The system has significantly reduced their water use as well as their trade waste discharge.
At the outset of the project, Huntsman identified that some of their waste water (as trade waste) was a potential source of high quality water.
The chemical production process at Huntsman involves heating and cooling processes. Generation of steam for heating and evaporation of water in cooling towers are the major contributors of water use at the site.
The steam at the Huntsman site is generated by boilers. And these, like kitchen appliances, can be prone to scale build-up, which affects their efficiency. To keep the boilers functioning efficiently, the impurities that create scale must be removed from the water. A demineralization process is used to treat the water, and this requires the use of chemicals and energy.
Some steam is used at the Huntsman site to heat a De-Ethaniser heat exchanger. Due to the low process temperature, the heat exchanger requires low pressure steam. As the steam pressure is low there was insufficient pressure to return the condensate to a holding tank for reuse. As a result, the condensate was being discharged to sewer as trade waste.
Fortunately, the new condensate recovery system has rectified this issue. Instead of being discharged to sewer, a steam pump has been added to transfer the condensate to the holding tank. The liquid is then used again to generate steam.
15ML in water savings per annum, trade waste volume was reduced by 15ML per annum and the process reduced the need to remove minerals from the water directly further reducing energy and chemical requirements.
Total Project Cost: