On the occasion of ‘World Water Day’, March 22, we will share the story of how we reuse 88 percent of the process water in one of our production units.
While these metal containers might not be classified as beautiful, what goes on inside them is! They allow us to reuse process water from our refinery catalyst production unit at our plant in Frederikssund, Denmark. In hard numbers, this amounts to 203,932 cubic meters of reused water in 2017.
Water is essential when producing catalysts. In the initial phase of the production process, raw materials are mixed with water before they are processed and turned into the desired product. In this case; alumina. Alumina is a carrier material for catalysts. Later in the production process, the active catalytic compounds are added to the alumina carrier. The end product is refinery catalysts that are used to refine crude oil into gasoline and diesel, and to remove pollution from factories and power plants.
“Once we have produced the alumina, we purify the excess water from the production for any left-over raw materials. The water is reconditioned to the desired quality and led back in to the production cycle. This allow us to reuse 88 percent of our production water,” says Senior Production Specialist Bjarne Sørensen.
“We also recycle the left-over raw material, which is potassium nitrate. We sell the potassium nitrate and it’s used for solar energy facilities, glass production, and fertilizer.”
Part of the bigger picture
Our overall goal is to implement relevant, sustainable, and innovative solutions so we use as few natural resources and as little energy as possible. To reach that goal, we constantly improve our production facilities.
“During the past years, we’ve made a great effort to reuse excess heat from our production. That’s a huge benefit for our neighbors who can enjoy cheaper heating, and it saves the climate for 7,800 tons of CO2 emissions. Right now we’re working on yet another water optimization project in our water purification facility, where a new purification technology will allow us to reuse even more water in the future,” says Energy Manager Jan Ove Jensen.