Chemical recovery - Recycle Fluid Technologies, Inc. - case study


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Recycle Fluid Technologies, Inc., of Richland Michigan recovers ethylene glycol of higher purity and greater volumetric yield. The recovered product must meet stringent General Motors and ASTM Standards.

Waste Description
The used ethylene glycol contains inhibitor salts, ash, dissolved metals, organic acids, motor oils and other variable adulterants.

Waste Disposal Goals
The client’s goal is to minimize the volume of waste resulting from the process and increase the recovery of resalable ethylene glycol. Wastewater Treatment Challenge

Former Process
The client was using an out dated physical chemical process combined with membrane technology to recover ethylene glycol (E.G.) from waste automobile coolants. The recovered ethylene glycol was usable but only 50-60% pure. A large volume of unusable glycol contaminated waste was generated with the old process.

ThermoEnergy Solution
ThermoEnergy (formerly CASTion) installed a CAST 3000 GPD Flash Distillation System constructed of 304 and 316 stainless steel. The system is capable of processing 3,000 gallons per day (input) of mixed water and ethylene glycol. The expected volumetric ratio is 55% water to 45% ethylene glycol.

The client uses a fleet of vacuum trucks to recover used ethylene glycol from automotive shops, dealers and radiator repair facilities. The collected product is transferred to a large equilibration tank and then treated with precipitating agents. Organic acids are removed via a rotary drum. The desalted influent is then transferred to the CAST distillation system. Heat is supplied by a high temperature thermal boiler and cooling is achieved using a standard cooling tower.

Pre-treatment consists of conventional precipitation using coagulants and flocculants to precipitate the dissolved phosphates and nitrates. Granular activated carbon is used to remove dissolved organic acids.

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