MPPE utilises two proven technologies, liquid-liquid extraction and steam stripping with an innovative medium (the MPPE particles). Hydrocarbon contaminated water is passed through a column packed with MPPE particles. An extraction liquid immobilised within the polymer matrix removes the hydrocarbons from the water. The purified water passes out of the column directly for reuse or discharge. All hydrocarbons with a relatively high affinity for the extraction liquid (compared to water) are removed. Periodical in-situ regeneration of the extraction liquid containing MPPE particles is accomplished with low pressure steam. The steam volatises the hydrocarbons. Volatised hydrocarbons are condensed and then separated by gravity. The hydrocarbon phase is recovered and sold as product, the water phase is recycled to the system.
Besides the Harlingen pilot, the unit is proven successful in other branches of industry. At present fourteen units are operational or under construction in the USA and Europe, of which six treat process water and eight are used in the field of groundwater remediation. Removal efficiencies up to 99.9999 % are achieved for a wide varieties and combinations of aliphatic, aromatic and halogenated (e.g. chlorinated) hydrocarbons