Soda Ash Business Difficulty: Water Saving and Emission Reduction Are Difficult

Soda Ash Business Difficulty: Water Saving and Emission Reduction Are Difficult As the cost of water is getting higher in recent years, domestic soda ash companies have begun to take various measures to save water. The picture shows a company's water reuse facility.

In the recent news of Sinochem’s new online news, the reporter participated in an annual meeting of the soda industry. At the meeting, the reporter discovered a surprising situation: The representatives of the soda ash companies who participated in the discussion discussed the most heated topics, not the business situation this year, not the production technology, nor how to develop the market, but to save water.

Water saving is a necessity. Why does the soda ash company pay so much attention to saving water? The reporter learned from the interview that the main reason is that the cost of water for soda companies has become higher and higher in recent years, and water saving has become a need for business survival.

Liu Xuewen, deputy general manager of Suzhou ICT Water Treatment Engineering Co., Ltd., told reporters that because soda ash is a large water consumer, the country’s water requirements for soda companies are increasingly stringent, and the company’s water consumption indicators are declining every year. This situation is particularly evident in the economically developed areas in Zhejiang and Jiangsu, where the annual water consumption index is reduced by about 10%. “Companies need to apply for water during production, the country will give you a quantity of water, and when you do the EIA, you will also allocate a quantity of water, and then ask the company to gradually reduce. The current water consumption is very tight for soda companies. Now the country The tasks of energy saving and emission reduction will be clearly put forward, the national task will be achieved in each province and city, and the indicators will finally be issued to the enterprise.This task includes the water consumption of the enterprise. Now the country’s water requirements for soda companies are more and more stringent, One day, you will get so many waters, and you will have to ask for more water. If water is not used up, it will shut you down. Therefore, soda ash companies have to save water," said Liu Xuewen.

Huo Xiaoyong, deputy general manager of Henan Jinshan Chemical Group, a soda ash production company, said that due to the high water consumption of the soda ash industry, the environmental protection and resource departments around the country are very strict about the supervision of water use by enterprises. Once they exceed the limit, the company will be punished at any time. Therefore, it is not a question of whether companies are willing to save water, but it is a matter of saving water. The soda ash industry has demanded clean production in recent years and issued relevant water saving indicators. For example, the amount of primary water added per ton of alkali product cannot exceed the number of cubic meters, and the amount of water discharged outside the alkali can not exceed the number of cubic meters.

Zhang Li, technical manager of the soda ash production company Shijiazhuang Shuanglian Chemical Co., Ltd., told reporters that there is no restriction on the amount of water taken by the local soda ash industry for the time being, but she fears that she will sooner or later. In addition, the cost of water resources that enterprises have to pay is also increasing, which increases the cost of the company. "Because you have taken more water, you will naturally pay more money. We have a water use fee that is calculated based on the amount of water used. If the company wants to upgrade the device, it must re-apply for the water permit. This is also It will cost money," said Zhang Li. She said that in addition, the country also has some incentive and subsidy policies to encourage everyone to adopt water-saving and energy-saving measures. Therefore, saving water has become the most important issue for soda ash companies.

According to Wang Mei, Marketing Manager of Suzhou Yingte Industrial Water Treatment Engineering Co., Ltd., soda ash companies have different ways to take water, some use groundwater and some use surface water, but they all involve water costs. Moreover, there is now control over the use of water in this country and it will not be used without restrictions. In the long run, the cost of water will be higher and higher and the price will be more and more expensive. The state is to regulate through various means, so that companies must save water, and waste water treatment, reduce the use of fresh water.

China’s Soda Industry Association’s vice-director of technical consulting, Jiang Lichuan, told reporters that China is a country with very scarce water resources, and its per capita water resources are less than 2,200 cubic meters, which is 30% of the world’s average level. Big. China's industrial water intake accounts for about 20% of the country's total. The rapid development of industry has aggravated the conflict between supply and demand for regional water resources. Soda ash is a highly water-consuming industry and has a large amount of water. The National Water Conservation Office commissioned the Petrochemical Federation to investigate the use of water and water in the petroleum and chemical industries. The results show that during the “11th Five-Year Plan” period, the unit water consumption of the soda ash industry in China has dropped significantly, but there is a large gap between enterprises, and some small and medium-sized enterprises need to improve their water use status. Sui Guiliang, deputy director of the Dalian Chemical Research and Design Institute, also told reporters that water shortages in the western region of China, in particular, there are no shortages of soda ash producers, so saving water is especially urgent for local companies.

It can be said that saving water has become a necessary condition for the soda ash business to survive.

The company’s energy-saving requirements have spawned related industries. The picture shows the staff of an energy-saving service company is diagnosing the device.

Contradictions with emission reductions Since water-saving has become a must for soda ash companies, many companies have begun to adopt various measures to save water. There are two main ways to save water in soda ash: one is to use less water. The second is less drainage. That is, by recycling the waste water several times and using less fresh water, it can save water. For soda ash companies, the second method is technically easy to control and the effect is obvious. This method is also commonly referred to as water reuse. Dou Jinliang told reporters that now the method of water-saving soda ash business is mainly through the process to solve, in the production process, add less water, improve product quality and equipment efficiency, less water.

However, the reporter learned from the interview that some enterprises have expressed bottlenecks in this water-saving method of recycling wastewater.

Huo Xiaoyong believes that the main problem for the water-saving business of soda companies is that it is difficult for the waste water after recycling to meet the emission standards. This has led to conflicts between water saving and emission reduction. According to him, the recycled water of the soda company was previously treated by the sewage treatment system and discharged. For example, the company's three plants each have one such wastewater treatment system, and each unit has an investment of more than 8 million yuan. The discharge standards for external drainage are that the ammonia nitrogen content is less than 15ppm and the chemical oxygen demand is less than 50ppm. Basically, companies can achieve emission targets. However, due to the higher and higher water-saving requirements of soda companies, many companies have taken the idea of ​​circulating water. The enterprise reuses the external drainage repeatedly - after the terminal water treatment is completed, it is further processed, and then the intermediate water is reused as a water supplement system. However, the external drainage cycle is a gradual process of concentration. After the enrichment of water, the reuse of water is achieved, but the discharge of standards has become a problem. He explained in detail: “For example, the company’s daily displacement is 1,000 cubic meters, which could have been discharged completely. However, in order to save water, the company reused 800 cubic meters of recycled water, and the remaining 200 cubic meters of water were enriched and contained impurities. In a sense, after the concentration of water, the concentration of the pollution factor in the water was met in the original 1,000 cubic meters of water, but after 800 cubic meters of water was reused, the impurities were in the remaining 200 cubic meters of concentrated water. It may exceed the standard, and it cannot be discharged. From the energy saving point of view, the use of recycled water companies has contributed, but the remaining 200 cubic meters of concentrated water is not environmentally friendly, and it is difficult to handle. Emissions bottleneck. Now there is no good way out of technology, the impurities are in the water, and the more concentrated they are, the more they exceed the standard. There is a problem that the environmental protection department understands and approves. If it is not recognized, companies cannot move forward. Will exceed the standard." Huo Xiaoyong looked helpless.

Huo Xiaoyong also said that in order to deal with the remaining 200 cubic meters of concentrated water, some companies can only shirk their own way. For example, the concentrated water is dried and turned into water vapor, so that the impurities contained therein are crystallized and then landfilled. “But there are also some problems with this. On the one hand, what is crystallized is useless waste; on the other hand, how much energy is needed to heat 200 cubic meters of water into steam? This is environmentally friendly, but it can The consumption has increased dramatically. On the surface, it is very environmentally friendly. In fact, energy consumption goes up.” said Huo Xiaoyong.

Liu Xuewen also said that the person in charge of a soda ash company in Kunshan had complained to them. The local waste water did not allow the company to order, and all of them were required to be reused. No way. Finally, the environmental protection design institute recommends that after the enterprise concentrates the wastewater to a certain extent, evaporates the concentrated water and evaporates the remaining solid contaminants for landfilling. In this way, environmental protection is environmentally friendly, but coal is burned and resources are consumed in vain.

“Now the state requires energy conservation on the one hand and zero emissions on the other, which is more difficult. We feel like we are doing environmental protection. From the current technology, the real zero emission is very difficult to save. Because from here This may be a reduction of emissions, but there is a lot of energy wasted from there. The change in energy is a loss. Therefore, we believe that there is still some contradiction between the zero-emissions and energy-saving in the soda industry." Liu Xuewen said.

Can only find the balance point. So how can a soda ash company solve this contradiction between energy saving and emission reduction? Many companies have expressed their opinions.

Need a technical breakthrough. Huo Xiaoyong said that at present, it seems that zero emission is a vicious circle. Therefore, companies are now looking for a technology that can effectively solve the problem of concentrated water, and can solve the concentrated water produced during the recycling process without greatly increasing the operating costs and energy consumption of the company. If China can develop this technology, or if it can introduce such technology from abroad, the contradiction will be solved.

It requires the understanding and recognition of the environmental protection department. Huo Xiaoyong suggested that before the concentrated water has a good and energy-saving treatment method, he hopes to seek the understanding and support of the environmental protection department policy. The environmental protection department can formulate such a policy. According to the company's daily displacement of 1,000 cubic meters, if the company only arranges 200 cubic meters a day, the EPA can appropriately relax the indicator of the measured pollution factor. This will ultimately be a win-win situation. The company has recycled water, saved water resources, and has no more pollution factors than the original. After the technical breakthrough is achieved, the pollution factors in the concentrated water are eventually completely eliminated.

It also requires the company's own efforts. Liu Xuewen said that companies should do their best to find the balance between energy saving and emission reduction. Take an example of 1,000 cubic meters of water out of a day. If you need to recycle 900 cubic meters or 800 cubic meters of water, the remaining concentrated water is of course difficult to handle. However, if only 500 cubic meters are recovered, the company will have economic benefits and environmental protection will be easy to do. Therefore, enterprises must find a balance point and cannot make energy saving and emission reduction a burden. If blindly pursue zero emissions, from now on, there is no such technology in the world. "Normal companies do 50% to 60% of water reuse, which is very reasonable and relatively economical. We propose that we should not blindly pursue zero emissions to increase the recovery rate, and we must comprehensively integrate energy conservation and emission reduction. Consumption to consider." Liu Xuewen said.

At the video conference of the national industrial system energy-saving and emission reduction work held in November this year, relevant responsible persons of the Ministry of Industry and Information once again mentioned the severe situation of current energy-saving and emission reduction. (Image courtesy of CFP)

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