Final Report: Chemical Plant Wastewater Reuse and Zero Discharge Cycles

EPA Grant Number: R825328
Title: Chemical Plant Wastewater Reuse and Zero Discharge Cycles
Investigators: Bagajewicz, Miguel J.
Institution: University of Oklahoma
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: October 1, 1996 through September 30, 1999
Project Amount: $224,977
RFA: Technology for a Sustainable Environment (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development


The purpose of this project is to develop methodologies for the design and/or retrofit of environmentally benign water cycles in chemical processing units. To address the design and retrofit task, the State Space Approach will be used. This method has been successfully used to combine heat and mass exchanger pinch calculations in a single optimization technique, departing from inefficient sequential methods. The State Space approach can also enlarge the scope of the studies to consider process changes that may allow better pollutant interception. The concept of zero water discharge refers to closed circuits of water, where water disposal is eliminated altogether. Closed circuits are appealing because end-of-pipe regeneration does not have to be conducted to the full extent required for disposal as water can be reused with higher level of contaminants. Additionally, the absence of a discharge eliminates internal administrative costs associated with the enforcement of EPA and local limits, as well as the interface with government agencies.

This project will have a significant impact on water usage and wastewater management for the chemical and petrochemical industry.


Alva-Argaez A, Kokossis AC, Smith R. Automated design water networks. Presented at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting, Miami, FL, 1998.

Bagajewicz M, Pham R, Manousiouthakis V. On the state space approach to mass/heat exchanger network design. Chemical Engineering Science 1997;53(14):2595-2621.

Savulescu L, Smith R. Simultaneous energy and water minimization. Presented at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting, Miami, FL, 1998.

Sorin M, Bedard S. Water minimization for system handling multiple contaminants. Presented at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting, Miami, FL, 1998.

Takama N, Kuriyama T, Shiroko K, Umeda T. Optimal water allocation in a petroleum refinery. Computers and Chemical Engineering 1980;4:251.

Wang YP, Smith R. Wastewater minimization. Chemical Engineering Science 1994;49(7):981.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 1 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Hendrickson JB. Building the shortest synthesis route. Chemtech 1998;28(9):35-40 R825328 (Final)
R825329 (1998)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

water reuse, pollution prevention, waste minimization, treatment cost reduction, water conservation, chemical industry, petrochemical industry., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Wastewater, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Economics and Business, in-process changes, cleaner production, industrial wastewater, waste minimization, waste reduction, wastewater reuse, zero discharge cycles, petrochemicals, energy efficiency, process modification, chemical processing, innovative technology, State Space approach, water conservation, pollution prevention, source reduction

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1997
  • 1998