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Selenium Removal from Refinery Wastewater via Iron Co-precipitation in a Mobile Clarifier

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Selenium is a naturally occurring metal found in the earth's crust. Selenium accumulates in plant tissues and as such, is present in all fossil fuels. While selenium is an essential nutrient at low levels, it may pose health and environmental risks at higher levels. Therefore the release of selenium to the environment is regulated by both federal and state authorities. The refining of crude oil can result in selenium concentrations in wastewater above desired levels. Husky Oil approached Siemens Water Technologies (SWT) with the question of how to more reliably and consistently meet their selenium discharge requirements. SWT considered a variety of technologies for both point source and total plant effluent treatment to achieve Husky's objectives. SWT recommended the use of an end of pipe solution to remove the last traces of selenium prior to plant discharge. Utilizing co-precipitation in SWT Mobile Clarifiers via the Actiflo® process, a technology licensed by SWT from Kruger Inc., the treatment process was implemented on a pilot scale and proved successful. Husky has expanded the application to a full scale installation, and continues to meet their discharge requirements effectively and efficiently. Operating data from bench top, pilot and full scale operations is presented.

Keywords: Iron Co-precipitation; Mobile Clarification; Refinery Wastewater; Selenium

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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