Wastewater Treatment

In addition to the needs for oil and gas industries in places like Houston Texas, circulation oil heaters are frequently used as well at the waste-water treatment plants. The waste-water is produced while processing the crude oil. The crude oil and natural gas that come off the well are generally mixtures of gas, oil and water. They need to be treated through a refining process that separate gas and oil from water. They must be separated before the pipeline quality oil and gas are sent to the market.

The refining process requires passing through the device that separates other gases from the mixture of gas/oil/water before going into the heater/treater. Heating up the mixture helps to separate gas. Gas is less dense, so it rises above while denser oil and water settle below. After the separation of gas, additional separation process using hydrocyclones spin the remaining oil/water mixture to separate oil from waste-water.

Wastewater Treatment Environment

There are a number of heating applications needed at the wastewater treatment plant. First of all, it is essential to keep the tanks and pipes from freezing. The heating applications necessary for freeze-protection involve valves, pipes, tanks, and instrumentation lines.  In addition to excellent insulation, it is necessary to equip tanks and pipes with flanged immersion heaters for freeze protection.

The WATTCO™ heaters specifically designed for freeze protection are circulation heaters. They are also best suitable to keep wastewater viscous. Along with freeze protection, maintaining viscosity is the primary heating application needed at the wastewater treatment plant. Wastewater is basically a sludge that is produced from crude oil after the oil has been processed. It includes lots of hazardous materials such as hydrocarbons, phenol, or ammoniacal nitrogen.

In order for a smooth operation of wastewater treatment process to take place, it must remain highly viscous at a certain temperature. Therefore, oil heaters are extremely important part of wastewater treatment process without interruption. Otherwise, the consequences may be unintended discharge of harmful wastewater into streams, rivers, and lakes. The heating applications at wastewater treatment plant are further complicated by its hazardous environments with the presence of potentially flammable or explosive gases.

The flanged immersion heaters are therefore ideal in such environment over gas heaters. The flanged immersion heaters by WATTCO™ are rather appropriate for heating applications at wastewater treatment plant. They are safer and more economical in comparison to gas heaters.

Consideration for Safety

WATTCO™ is very particular about safety and precaution. The heaters are equipped with various safety precautions available. The controls are housed in terminal enclosures that meet the various NEMA standards set for different scenarios. In addition to NEMA-1 Standard terminal boxes, WATTCO™ also provide NEMA-4 Standard terminal box for moisture proof and NEMA-7 Standard terminal box for explosion proof. The explosion proof enclosure option is particularly useful for the wastewater treatment plants that are vulnerable to flammable chemicals.

Additionally, WATTCO™ uses digitally controlled thermocouples to ensure that the appropriate temperatures are maintained for tanks and pipes to stay warm and avoid freezing. Likewise, maintaining the optimal viscosity of wastewater is made easy with use of RTD along with thermocouples ensuring that a constant temperature may be maintained throughout the treatment process.

Ilan Toledano is the Vice President of Marketing and Sales, North America, at Wattco, Quebec, Canada, a maker of electric heating elements and controls. To learn more from Wattco, call (800) 492-8826 or visit www.wattco.com.

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