H+E develops new technology for the oil and gas industry

Source: press release, 16 November 2020

The AquaCritox unit onsite in Saudi Arabia
The AquaCritox unit onsite in Saudi Arabia (photo: H+E Group)

H+E Group/Germany/Stuttgart, an Aquarion Group company and international supplier of industrial process water and wastewater treatment solutions, has developed and successfully installed a new technology for the oil and gas industry.

One of the greatest challenges of the present time is the treatment of spent caustic in refineries. The caustic is highly contaminated with organic loads and usually contains sulphides, mercaptans and phenols. Up to now, the purification was very difficult or simply not possible. With the latest technology development of the H+E Group this challenge can now be met more easily. The AquaCritox® SC technology is presented by the H+E Group in conjunction with Super Critical Fluids International (SCFI) Ltd.

AquaCritox® is a high pressure, high temperature hydrothermal oxidation technology originally designed to operate at supercritical water conditions i.e. above 221 bar and 374° C. The design employs a multistage tubular reactor and a novel pressure control system.

In order to overcome issues with high salt content associated with spent caustic the original AquaCritox® concept technology was adapted to operate at near critical conditions but below the critical point, and so the AquaCritox® SC process was conceived.

From conception to reality, AquaCritox is now treating Spent Caustic from two of the most prestigious companies within the Middle East. Thanks to the fully automated unit supplied and located in the Middle East, the system has been successfully installed and operated without any issues. Subsequent laboratory results from on-site sampling confirm that efficient destruction of COD, sulphides and mercaptans was achieved. The treated spent caustic is therefore suitable for disposal or further treatment in a biological system.

In a further development, the next generation of this technology will also be able to treat sewage sludge.

The H+E Group, headquartered in Stuttgart, has supplied more than 30,000 water treatment plants for industrial and wastewater sectors, including the oil and gas industry.