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Looking at waste chemicals

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Potassium hydroxide (KOH) is often used to neutralise hydrofluoric acid in the refinery alkylation process. The neutralisation process produces potassium fluoride (KF or spent KOH), which is not further utilised in refining operations. If this material is discarded by the refinery, it must be handled as hazardous waste. Discarding the material is not the only option the refinery has. Veolia Environment offers reliable and robust services to clients seeking environmentally attractive alternatives.

Utilising feedstocks

Steve Hopper, executive vice president, Veolia Water Americas Industrial Group said, ‘we use the spend KOH as feedstock to manufacture new product, which our clients can then utilise in the HF alkylation unit in their refinery. This process helps eliminate the need to use virgin natural resources to produce KOH, and provides our clients a legitimate and sustainable alternative to discarding the KF. All combined, our process not only helps save our clients money, but it also helps the environment.’

Veolia processes the feedstock through a proprietary crystallisation technology and manufactures KOH. This process returns a guaranteed 90% plus for the KOH to the client. This technology and process handles spent KOH from across the country and Veolia’s facilities maintain a daily merchant capacity of up to 150 000 gal. Hopper concluded, ‘our processing capabilities were especially invaluable during Hurricane Katrina. We were able to handle spent KOH from our clients in Gulf Coast states in addition to our national clients, helping customers avoid force majeure declarations and interruptions to their production.’

Adapted for web by Claira Lloyd

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