Strategies for Effective Contaminant Removal in Industrial Wastewater: A Comparative Study of Steam Stripping and Solvent Extraction Methods

W. Gallei, K. Parkinson
Koch Modular Process Systems,
United States

Keywords: Sustainability, Industrial Wastwater, Ammonia, PFAS


Addressing the removal of contaminants from wastewater is increasingly vital, particularly with the rise of ammonia-intensive decarbonization technologies. Mining activities, driven by the demand for critical minerals and metals for energy generation and storage, have elevated ammonia levels in wastewater streams. Similarly, the production of renewable fuels from livestock waste results in high ammonia concentrations in wastewater. This challenge is further complicated by escalating operational costs, aging infrastructure, emerging contaminants like PFAS, and stringent regulations. This poster explores two distinct technologies for efficiently removing challenging contaminants from wastewater across diverse conditions to achieve tangible operational and cost benefits. Steam Stripping: Steam stripping, also known as steam distillation, offers a cost-effective method for removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from wastewater. Compounds suitable for stripping have lower boiling points than water, form azeotropes with water, or are partially soluble in water. These contaminants can include alcohols, dioxane, chlorinated hydrocarbons, BTX aromatics (benzene-toluene-xylene), aliphatics, acetates, THF, ethers, ketones, acetonitrile, and ammonia. Solvent Extraction: Solvent extraction provides an efficient and cost-effective solution for removing challenging wastewater contaminants with higher boiling points than water or those that are non-volatile. This method is particularly beneficial when the energy costs associated with distillation or evaporation are high. Contaminants suitable for extraction encompass carboxylic acids, metal ions, quaternary ammonium cations, phenolic compounds, DMF, DMAC, pyridines, aniline, nitrotoluenes, and organofluorines such as PFAS.