Project Synopsis

On-site process design and engineering support for the complete design, pilot plant program, startup, and commissioning of a new wastewater treatment facility.

Project Summary


The client owns and operates a specialty metal manufacturing plant in the Northeastern U.S. and contracted with Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to provide on-site process design and engineering support in the complete design of a new wastewater treatment facility.  The client operates under an NPDES permit and was issued a new permit with much stricter discharge limits.  PROCESS was involved in the project from conception to final installation, startup, and commissioning of the new facilities.  Project tasks included the following:

  • Identification and evaluation of process alternatives for reducing fluoride, total dissolved solids (TDS), and metals in the wastewater.  Process alternatives under review included:
    • Alternative treatment of existing wastewater streams
    • Recycle of high concentration TDS streams
    • Solidification of a low-volume high-fluoride concentration stream.  Each alternative was reviewed in detail both for technical feasibility and for economic and regulatory impacts.
  • Preparation of two (2) pilot test programs for both: the recycle of a high TDS concentrated wastewater stream in an existing batch crystallization process and the solidification of an existing waste chemical stream using lime and other alternative solidification materials.  For each pilot test, PROCESS generated test program details, system operating instructions, test authorizations and management of change (MOC) documentation, sampling and analytical procedures, and health and safety procedures.  PROCESS also prepared all design documents for the pilot systems (PFDs, P&IDs); prepared specifications for pilot equipment including tanks, agitators, blender, heat exchangers, and air pollution control equipment; purchased the pilot equipment; and coordinated installation of the processes with mechanical and electrical contractors. 
  • Implementation and documentation of pilot test results.  The waste solidification process was selected to be implemented in the commercial-scale facility.  The recycle process will be implemented full-scale if the economics become favorable.
  • Review and markup of new and existing P&IDs generated by the detail engineering design firm for two separate processes incorporated in the commercial-scale facility: a new wastewater treatment system using lime for neutralization of HF and sulfuric acid for precipitation of metals, and the new waste chemical solidification process piloted in the task described above. 
  • Review of vendor proposals and assistance in selecting equipment.  Process equipment included FRP treatment tanks, Tefzel-lined carbon steel jacketed tanks, heat exchangers, agitators, pumps, blender, glycol cooling system, acid delivery system, and lime storage and pneumatic delivery systems.
  • On-site process engineering support during construction for both processes. 
  • Preparation of detailed functional specifications for the control systems for both commercial processes to be used by systems control engineers for programming.  PROCESS worked closely with the programmers to define PLC logic for each process.    
  • Preparation of startup and commissioning plan and on-site process engineering support for the startup, commissioning, and shakedown of both commercial processes. 
  • Preparation of all new, and revisions to existing (as needed) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). 

Facility startup proceeded very smoothly with minimal problems, and the facility is currently operating as designed.

Industry Type

  • Batch Specialty Metals Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • Industrial process waste water treatment plant design
  • Waste water treatment plant pilot-plant programs
  • Project management process engineering oversight
  • Waste water system startup engineering support

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