Maximum energy recovery and reuse in industrial cities
Processing plants are usually concentrated in industrial areas or cities. Carbon footprints of such areas tend to be very high and improvements in energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important. However, energy integration across such cities is a largely unexplored research area. This project develops a new approach to enable multi-level screening for energy integration across plants in industrial cities. The approach enables the identification of energy targets which allow the engineer to quickly assess the potential for energy savings through recovery. The approach further enables energy recovery systems design to achieve these targets. The focus in the development of the approach has been on overcoming the many operating issues that pose obstacles for implementation of heat integration across plants in practice.
Optimal Design of Membrane-Based Desalination Processes
Qatar heavily depends on seawater desalination to provide fresh water for domestic and industrial use. Membrane-based desalination processes in the form of reverse osmosis are considered more energy efficient, less capital intensive and more environmentally benign than their thermal counterparts. Recent advances have yielded further membrane processes that are complementary to reverse osmosis in separating dissolved solids from water. These include nanofiltration, membrane distillation, electrodialysis and membrane crystallization. Hybrid configurations of some or all of these processing units have been claimed to outperform conventional processes based on reverse osmosis alone. The best configurations will depend on the feed water quality as well as on the treatment goal (e.g. brine discharge, zero liquid discharge, salt production). This research initiative aims at developing systematic method capable of identifying optimal desalination processes using a model-based innovation approach.
Inland Desalination with Zero Liquid Discharge for Brackish Groundwater
Because of seawater intrusion and other human activities, groundwater quality is deteriorating in the gulf region. This has led to the use of inland desalination to produce good quality water. Clearly, any desalination process produces two streams; a clean water product stream and a reject concentrate stream (called brine) that must be disposed of. The opportunity to dispose the reject brine in the sea does not exist for inland desalination. Improper disposal of reject brine from inland plants results in major environmental problems. Achieving zero liquid discharge in such plants will avoid the problems of brine disposal and will conserve water resources by maximizing recovery. Available zero liquid discharge technologies are used mainly in industrial applications and they are prohibitively expensive for inland desalination. This project will focus in developing inexpensive and environmentally benign process for inland desalination with zero liquid discharge.
Study of Residual Chlorine and Chlorinated By-Products at Messaaeid Industrial Area
The Supreme Council for the Environment & Natural Reserves (SCENR) has issued new environmental standards that are aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the processing facilities. The new regulations specify that the maximum concentration of free residual chlorine is 0.05 mg/L for discharge of cooling water. Industries in Messaaeid Industrial City (MIC) have been challenged to meet the new residual chlorine standards. This project is to study the environmental impact of residual chlorine in seawater and develop tools for prediction of chlorinated byproducts. The goal is to determine residual chlorine standards that are based on the impact considering the local environmental conditions.
Development of a Water Resources Map for Qatar
A detailed data repository of water resources in Qatar is developed to capture data for the development of water management strategies. The
water map takes the form of a GIS that includes information on
(a) quantities and qualities of all significant water sources, their location, their origin including wastewater, service water, industrial waste water, desalinated water and different types of groundwater, the availability of infrastructure to treat and/or transport such water, the authority in charge of allocating such water sources;
(b) all significant water users (sinks), their location, the purpose of water use (e.g. irrigation, cooling, extraction) and their water quality requirements; and (c) the current and planned infrastructure available to upgrade the quality of water sources and the associated costs.
Hazardous Waste Treatment
Our work concerns the hazardous chlorinated organics found in industrial waste discharges that are a potential threat to the environment. It is well known that a chemical reduction/oxidation process can convert chemically hazardous contaminants to non-hazardous or less toxic compounds that are more stable, less mobile, and/or inert. We, however, introduce a new class of a treatment process – named the ARP or Advanced Reduction Process – which is a combination of chemical reduction and activation. It is our contention that this approach will lead to the production of highly reactive reducing free radicals for rapid and effective reductive dechlorination and that the ARP will be cost-effective and competitive. We are thus setting up and developing the appropriate analytical and experimental procedures. We address a task specific to Qatar; we screen potential ARPs and identify those that are most effective in degrading target compounds detected at Qatar industrial sites (most probably 1, 2-dichloroethane and vinyl chloride). We also look at the fundamental data on the stoichiometry and kinetics of contaminant degradation in general and hence suggest the optimal conditions for applying promising ARPs.
Seawater for Process Cooling
The project investigates the environmental impact of adding anti-biofouling chemicals (a form of biocides) to seawater discharged into the Arabian Gulf. Seawater-induced biofouling – caused by the build-up of living organisms – of heat exchangers and related equipment is a standard problem that is controlled conventionally by adding a biocide to the flow stream, usually a compound of chlorine. Chlorine, however, reacts with bromide and other naturally occurring elements of seawater to form oxidants which can, in turn, react with other organic species in the seawater to form toxic halogenated compounds. In principle, such compounds pose an environmental and health threat, especially given the huge amount of treated seawater discharged into the Gulf by Qatar’s industrial plants. Studies include the chemical, physical, and biological process of the biocide reactions, development of tools to predict their transport and fate in the environment as well as inside the industrial system, and recommended regulatory standards for biocide concentrations in seawater cooling systems.