Apr 23, 2013–UFA, Russia  (Techreleased) – GE and Russian oil company Bashneft have launched pilot testing of GE’s ZeeWeed* membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology for biological treatment of sewage water from the Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim oil processing complex and other enterprises of the Northern Industrial Block of Ufa. Strict discharge regulations, and the need to reuse the treated water, led Bashneft to choose GE’s MBR, electrodialysis reversal (EDR) and reverse osmosis (RO) technologies for the pilot testing.

ZeeWeed 500 Membrane
ZeeWeed 500 Membrane

The testing is being conducted in cooperation with the Institute of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemistry of the Republic of Bashkortostan as a part of preparations for a modernization project for biological treatment plants (BTP) of the Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim branch.

During the tests, which will continue until June 30, 2013, GE will demonstrate the technological feasibility of sewage purification in compliance with the strict requirements of environmental legislation of the Russian Federation.

“Bashneft focuses on protecting the environment from harmful industrial impacts. We believe that the company’s best-in-class oil processing complexity level has to have the best sewage water treatment system,” said Viktor Gantsev, senior vice president, OJSC Oil Processing Joint-Stock Company Bashneft for petroleum processing and petrochemistry. “And we hope that GE’s advanced technology will help to solve this problem and make the water of the Belaya River cleaner, which will be beneficial for all the people of Bashkortostan.”

In the framework of the project, GE will use ZeeWeed MBR technology, EDR, RO and adsorption on activated carbon. The use of a set of cutting-edge purification methods enables implementation of a closed-cycle principle and the minimization of water intake requirements. A distinctive feature of purification based on the GE technological process is the absence of preliminary clarification tanks and secondary clarifiers. At the exit from the aeration tanks, the activated sludge is separated from treated water using ZeeWeed 500 ultrafiltration membranes. Dehydration of oil sludge, precipitation and excess sludge is performed on compact centrifuges. All of the above makes it possible to reduce the area of purification facilities and exclude any chance of contaminant release into the environment.

“The innovative GE solutions minimize water intake requirements and minimize the risk of oil and oil products entering the ground and subsurface waters. We are confident that upgrading the water treatment facilities is a genuine step on the way to sustainable development for all of Russia’s oil industry. Today we are glad to demonstrate the possibilities of our equipment at the Bashneft production facility,” said Chris Jeffery, region executive, Europe & Russia/CIS, engineered systems, GE Power & Water.

Biological Treatment Plants at the Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim Branch

Biological treatment plants of the Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim branch were commissioned in 1958. All industrial effluent, storm water and utility fluids from three oil refineries of Bashneft, OJSC Ufaorgsynthez, the Cherkassy pumping station and other manufacturing facilities of the Northern Industrial Block of Ufa go to the BTPs after preliminary mechanical treatment. Reconstruction of BTPs was performed in 1983.

In compliance with an agreement between the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service of the Republic of Bashkortostan and OJSC Ufaneftekhim on December 6, 2010, by December 2011 the feasibility study for BTPs modernization was prepared. In 2012, a contract was executed for engineering the modernization of BTPs with the Institute of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemistry of the Republic of Bashkortostan.