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Anonymous Poster #1

How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/02/2017 3:12 PM

Hi Everyone,

How can ethylene glycol be removed from industrial process water (natural gas processing wastewater)?

The glycol seeped into a stream of process water which is making it very difficult to treat.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/02/2017 3:23 PM

Thank you! I will certainly look into those

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#2

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/02/2017 3:18 PM

there are a number of ways I can think of... none are cheap.

But can you answer this;

How much glycol to be removed?... the concentration of glycol is with the water.

you said it seeped into a stream?... does that mean it was a accident? and not part of the process.

thought I had a couple more questions, but that's all I can think of right at the moment.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/02/2017 3:41 PM

From a water sample analysis taken just last month, about 23 mg/L was present.

There are two streams to be treated, we are looking at treating the first stream as its easier, then the second stream given the opportunity. FYI, the second stream has about 830 mg/L ethylene glycol.

Correct, it was by accident. I'm not entirely sure how it entered the stream.

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 4:16 AM

And the discharge consent limits locally on this are what, please?

And the quantities to be treated are what, please?

Please help the forum to provide the help sought.

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 6:05 AM

Still not clear what the problem is. If it accidentally contaminated a stream, isn't it too late to do anthing about it? All you can do is hope nobody took a sample!

If it's a continuous stream I agree with JS #5 that biological could be the way to go, though if there's no other food source eg sewage, it might take the bugs a while to acclimatise.

Possible troble with RO is SS needs to be filtered out to a low level to avoid membrane contamination.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 7:10 AM

I have to agree,... A 'stream' is dynamic, fix the breach.

How was this discovered?

Were there dead fish floating to the top?

Is there government authorities that got involved?

there's a few more, but by the time one can muster and mitigate corrections, its move to a bigger stream, river, lake...

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#11
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Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 9:14 AM

SS? silt and sediment? Yes, it requires usually minimum of media filter, and cartridge filter, depending on the size of the equipment.

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#18
In reply to #7

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 10:59 AM

He doesn't mean a stream as in babbling brook, he means a flow of process water effectively still in the pipe, storage basin or tank. The question is about what to do to correct it before it actually does go into a babbling brook.

You can dilute it down to waste discharge permit levels, but if you could inoculate it with the right microorganisms and get it digested before discharge, that would be better.

At one plant I worked at, they ended up sending some contaminated water to the sub basement of the building and spent several years treating and diluting to get it into compliance with their discharge permit, but then they had a huge, empty sub basement and at one point they needed a rowboat to get across the place.

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#19
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Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 11:02 AM

Nice.

Resourcefulness abounds during such crises.

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#20
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Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 11:09 AM

ozone electrolytic method

Fenton's reagent with UV removal of EG

These are two other promising methods where the initial residual concentration of EG is fairly low. Fenton's reagent produces the top oxidant: OH• radical, which beats even ozone. There are other ways of making hydroxyl radical, such as exposing rutile coated substrate submerged in water film to short wave UV, as I recall.

The chemical route could be kinetically faster than the biological one, if circumstances are correct.

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#22
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Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 1:56 PM

Fair point, my wrong interpretation.

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#5

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/02/2017 4:36 PM

Since you mostly likely have a low residual concentration of EG (ethylene glycol) in water, you will need some advanced technique, unless you can bio-remediate this water. Bacteria will use EG as a source of food, and it is not so toxic to bacteria, and as Lyn pointed out with two of his links, reactors can be of various design. This might be the lower tech way to go.

The other technique utilizes RO membranes (high rejection ones are better, although no RO membrane will exhibit perfect rejection of solutes of such low molecular weight.

EG has a molecular weight 62.07 g/mole is below the 100 g/mole "cut-off", but the rejection is still probably near 80%.

This means that a multiple stage system starting with 30 mg/L, at 80% recovery of water might end up with 6 gm/L in the "permeate" water, and would be concentrated to near 120 mg/L in the "concentrate". It would take many passes to clean up the water, or conversely enrich the EG sufficiently for recovery.

Oxidation of EG is effected only by use of very selective oxidants such as potassium permanganate/hydrogen peroxide, but this is a dangerous mixture, and extreme caution in handling is advised, plus it could create a larger problem than the original one. Oxidation at platinum electrode in acidic media has been tried, but electrode poisoning is likely (but it is poisoned by terminal CO, so fire treatment of the electrode might restore activity). The products of said oxidation are glycolate, glycolic acid, and carbon dioxide (or bicarbonate), all of which are far less toxic to humans, and other mammals.

I think your best bet is biological remediation by bacterial inoculation of an impounded volume of this polluted stream. Impounded retention time will depend on maintaining a warm temperature, and suitable conditions, probably anaerobic.

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#9

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 9:02 AM

"The solution to pollution is dilution" - Anonymous Poster #0

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 9:15 AM

shame on you, but I have heard it stated that way before.

In Texas, these days, that might get someone jail time.

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#14
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Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 9:21 AM

I read that in 5th grade in elementary school in our 'Weekly Reader'. It also stated Global Cooling... but that's another thread.

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#15
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Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 9:25 AM

Are you sure it wasn't the "weakly" reader? LOL, just messing with ya'!

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#10

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 9:08 AM

Stationary state: allow to sediment the sludge at the lowest possible temperature.

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#13
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Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 9:16 AM

who mentioned sludge?

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#16

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 9:40 AM

Correction: sludge = heavier liquid phase.

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#17
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Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 10:09 AM

There is no phase separation here, EG is 100% soluble in water.

I know of no particular solvent (heavier than water, and that would not grossly pollute the water far worse than EG) that would extract EG efficiently and give a clean separation.

Biological method will work if the impounded water is treated with the right bacteria.

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 12:28 PM

I like this thread, but I know absolutely nothing about the process your talking about, although I still want to learn/understand.

If you will excuse my ignorance, here are some questions :

A. What type of bacteria is this. How does a person get it. How is it dispensed. Sold. Cost. Quantity.

B. Can you provide a visual representation of the process, chart, image, videos.

C. Do any of these words apply : reactivity, flammable, gaseous, etc.

Thanks for the education in advance.

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: How to Remove Ethylene Glycol From Wastewater

11/03/2017 3:02 PM

A. most anaerobic bacteria should be able to eat and get energy from EG. Various clostridium bacteria come to mind, but I am not sure on that. Anaerobes would also die off quickly upon aeration of the treated stream.

B. No I cannot provide a chart. Basically it needs to be a tank of some kind where the oxygen can be removed (by chemical reaction with sulfite, or by purging). It will have an inlet and an outlet, and a flow rate to be determined.

C. No, none of the caution words apply, except gaseous, as there might be some CO2 off-gassing.

If handled carefully, I see no grave dangers of introducing such a process. The Fenton's reagent is already used in wastewater treatment to remove COD/BOD (chemical oxygen demand/biological oxygen demand). That would be separate and alternate from bacterial digestion.

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