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A complex transformation

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The global petrochemical industry has experienced more than 15 years of strong volume growth. Petrochemical companies stocks have performed strongly compared with other chemical sectors and the overall market over the period. The global petrochemicals market size was valued at US$539.3 billion in 2019, and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 8.5% over the next few years. The market is driven by increasing product application in major end-use industries such as construction, automobile, and chemical intermediate manufacturing. Ethylene dominates the market in terms of value and volume, owing to its demand as a feedstock in the aforementioned end-use industries.

A stringent regulatory environment, on account of environmental concerns, is anticipated to hamper market growth significantly. Effluent treatment in petrochemical industries is a complex process, with demanding environmental management challenges as by-products can be both volatile and toxic.

Petrochemical effluent often requires a combination of treatment methods to remove high organic and inorganic contaminants before discharge. Issues such as groundwater contamination, aromatics, heavy metals, oil, grease and organic removal, and volatile organic compound (VOC) control have to be addressed in order to comply with environmental regulations and maintain a good customer image. End-users are forced to become more aware of what types of waste they are creating and discharging, and how they can adjust their treatment methods to ensure regulatory compliance.

Effluents deriving from PTA and PET production plants

The PTA effluent has a very high chemical-oxygen demand (COD) and contains various acids like terephthalic acid (TA), benzoic acid (BA), acetic acid, and para-toluic acid (p TA), carboxy benzaldehyde, ethylene glycol, oligomers (PET) and heavy metals, such as cobalt (Co) and manganese (Mn), in addition to high suspended solids….

Written by Sanjay Thute, VA Tech WABAG Ltd, India.

This article was originally published in the April 2020 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering. To read the full article, and other great technical articles in this issue, view the full issue here. You can also register to receive a free regular copy of the magazine here.

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