Gee & Co high-tech methanol dosing for Southern Water

Five sewage treatment works in the Southern Water region are to use sophisticated methanol dosing plant manufactured by Gee & Company and utilising Signal metering pumps for the de-nitrification of final effluent, utilising biological treatment. Procurement of the equipment is being carried out for Southern Water by 4D via Black & Veatch.

Methanol, readily available as a high carbon content chemical, is utilised as a nutrient by micro-organisms contained in the biological process. This process excludes natural oxygen, allowing the nitrate to be reduced to nitrogen and hence denitrifying the waste.

Gee is fully familiar with the special storage and handling requirements demanded by methanol, as it is a very flammable liquid with an unusually wide range between maximum and minimum explosive limits. To create a safe storage environment, the methanol is stored above ground in special double-skinned tanks, with a foam concrete infill between the layers. An essential safety feature is that when methanol is discharged from road tankers, the fill point also incorporates a vapour return line between tank and tanker. Within the storage tanks, content levels are externally monitored by radar.

At the heart of the dosing process, Gee utilises highly sophisticated chemical metering pumps. These are Signal series 300 X9 hydraulically actuated units, fitted with pneumatic servos for automatic control of stroke length.

They also incorporate a number of essential safety features that are designed to ensure the safe handling of such a potentially hazardous chemical. For example, the double diaphragm pump design also incorporates rupture detection equipment to provide added protection. The motors are also suitably ATEX rated to protect against risk of explosion.

On some of the sites, the Gee equipment is used to dose methanol into carrier water within the dosing skid, which renders it non-explosive and making it safe to carry to the point of application. To monitor the flow of methanol, mass flow meters are used, whilst for the carrier water, magnetic flow meters are utilised to ensure that the ratio of chemical to water is maintained at a safe level.

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