WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL
Project ID: 2004TX152B
Title: Development of Optimal Water Conservation and Management Strategies for Industrial Facilities
Project Type: Research
Focus Categories: None
Start Date: 03/01/2004
End Date: 02/28/2005
Federal Funds: $5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $12,275
Congressional District: 32nd
Eva M. Lovelady
Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi
This project will utilize a mass integration approach to identify opportunities for water conservation in the pulp and paper industry. Mass integration is a holistic way to optimally allocate, generate, and separate resources (including water) utilized in complex manufacturing processes. The goal of this project is to develop integrated strategies to manage water resources, non-process elements or NPEs (byproducts from industrial processes), pollutants, and other elements associated with industrial operations.
Objectives of this study involve identifying strategies to optimize water use, reuse, recycling, substitution, and discharge, as well as developing mass integration techniques for the pulp and paper industries. The project also seeks to assess methods to separate and remove NPEs, as well as technological and economic analyses of processing alternatives. Ultimately, the project will develop operational strategies that can be used in pulp and paper plants under a wide range of conditions. The study will involve tracking and simulating NPE contaminants and organic compounds and identifying mass integration techniques to monitor NPEs and water quality parameters. A variety of processes that may remove NPEs will be examined including ion exchange, double layer separation, and precipitation of metals with different pH levels. Then, integrated strategies will be evaluated to modify industrial processes.
Research activities that will be carried out in this project including developing a computer-aided simulation model for pulp and paper facilities, gather data from these plants about aqueous streams and chemicals used in manufacturing processes, and identifying opportunities for recycling as well as water use targets. Other research tasks include identifying and assessing conventional and novel separation technologies, performing a mass integration analysis to compare potential separation technologies, and developing dynamic simulations to operate and control manufacturing processes.
The project is anticipated to result in the development of a methodology that can be used to conserve, recycle, and manage water resources in industrial facilities. Results are likely to be broadly applicable to a wide range of industries. In the near-term, this study may yield data on cost-effective solutions that can soon be implemented to address water challenges facing industries.