‘The problem of volatile hydrocarbons absorption has been solved’

Lead Russian chemists have assessed the implemented technologies at the facilities of Nizhnekamskneftekhim

Academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences have discussed further cooperation with industrialists of Tatarstan in the conditions of sanctions. The meeting with the participation of Rustam Minnikhanov has been held in Nizhnekamsk. They talked about the introduction of the latest developments in the field of environmental safety. Before the event, the guests visited the production facilities of Nizhnekamskneftekhim and TANECO.

“What is happening today is a very important positive step”

A rich programme awaited the academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the petrochemical capital of Tatarstan. The scientists visited the industrial site and assessed the large-scale reconstruction of biological treatment facilities of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, where 21% of urban and 79% of industrial wastewater go.

Biological treatment facilities were put into operation 56 years ago. In the mid-80s, the capacities of the treatment plants was increased fourfold. However, since then, the city and the industrial site have grown significantly. Taking into account the current situation, the decision was made on the large-scale modernisation.

“The first stage of reconstruction started in 2016. We have re-built and equipped the entire unit of mechanical treatment of domestic wastewater, introduced modern treatment technology. The whole complex was equipped with modern equipment," said Mikhail Romanov, the head of the Nizhnekamskneftekhim workshop.

He also spoke about the second stage of the BTF reconstruction, which began in 2018. New buildings were built at the industrial wastewater treatment plant, and the latest gas cleaning units — biofilters — were installed. These are block boxes that are populated with special types of bacteria. These microorganisms neutralise unpleasant odours. This technology is one of the best in Europe. The process of wastewater treatment also began to take place in the conditions of complete tightness.

“In Russia, such technologies were not used until 2019. The entire chemical effluents on the BTF is sealed, a stripping system is installed to neutralise odours. We also built 4 tanks, the so-called priorators, in which all substances and volatile hydrocarbons are blown into biofilters," said Mikhail Romanov, the head of shop No. 3406 of Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

According to him, another important step to improve the reliability of the work done was the construction of the new off-site collector with a length of about 15 km. This significantly increased the throughput and increased the reliability of wastewater transportation.

“I came here in the 1980s and 90s, and I understand that what is happening today is a very important positive step not only for the development of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, but also for the city as a whole. I would like to note that the ecological situation in the city has changed for the better with the reconstruction of the BTF," said Oleg Sinyashin, the head of the scientific direction Chemistry of the Kazan Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

During the excursion, representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences asked about the throughput capacity of the modernised BTF, how much the reconstruction allowed to reduce the amount of pollutants in the effluents and how their quality is monitored.

“Very strong impressions. The problem of absorption of volatile hydrocarbons has been solved at the highest level," said Aziz Muzafarov, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Chemical Sciences.

Equipment at EP-600 has been supplied by 94%

The academicians also appreciated the new complex of Nizhnekamskneftekhim. Currently, the main design works have been completed. According to Lenar Nagimullin, the director of the EP-600 plant, solutions that meet the high level of requirements for environmental impact parameters will be applied at the new plant.

For example, the unit of smokeless flare system will reduce the projected CO emissions by 12 times compared to the best available technologies in Russia, nitrogen oxide compounds by six times relative to Russian benchmarks and by half compared to European ones. The Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) will enable operators to monitor the necessary indicators online.

Also, the complex will have modern local treatment facilities and a closed water circulation system, which will completely eliminate the formation of wastewater and minimise the impact on water resources.

“The measures that the management of Nizhnekamskneftekhim is implementing are a very important stage of its development. Any new complex that is being created today must be thought out from all sides. We see that the approach is primarily aimed at ensuring that the construction of a new one does not create problems for the environment. It seems to me that this is very important," said Oleg Sinyashin, the head of the scientific direction Chemistry of the Kazan Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The scientists highlighted the responsible approach of the enterprise to environmental safety issues, which were worked out at the design stage. The academics asked if the current economic situation would affect the supply of equipment for the new complex. As reported at Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, the equipment has already been supplied by 94 percent and problems with it are not expected.

“There is a powerful production base here, it is one of the largest chemical complexes in Europe. The high qualification of specialists, motivation of people to do a good job are stunning. The development of the fundamentals of environmental safety is in the focus of attention of the Kazan Scientific Centre, all this is great. Our centre within the framework of the consortium of ecology of industrial cities will take an active part in the development of the fundamentals," said Zinfer Ismagilov, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“Any management decision must be scientifically sound”

On the same day, the guests visited TANECO's production facilities and Bicotex microfiber plant. The results of the visit to Nizhnekamsk were summed up at the meeting of the RAS Scientific Council on global environmental problems and the interdepartmental working group on ensuring environmental safety in the development of the Nizhnekamsk industrial hub with the participation of President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Tatarstan Alexander Shadrikov and head of the Nizhnekamsk Municipal District Executive Committee Ramil Mullin.

The meeting discussed the introduction of the latest developments in the field of environmental safety.

“It is not the first time that the Ministry of Ecology has brought representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences to search for innovative approaches to improve environmental quality indicators. The Nizhnekamsk industrial hub is one of the largest in the Russian Federation. Both our ministry and the leadership of the republic adhere to that any management decision must be scientifically sound," Ayrat Shigapov, the first deputy minister of ecology and natural resources of Tatarstan, chief state inspector in the field of environmental protection, stressed in an interview.

He noted that the main purpose of the visit is to create a platform where industrialists could voice their questions, and scientists were actively involved in the work.

By the way, following the results of the previous visit, Tatarstan signed an agreement with the consortium of scientific organisations of RAS institutes. Programmes of scientific petrochemical development have been developed aimed at developing technologies for the safe disposal and involvement in the secondary use of complex waste from petrochemical industries.

Now this programme is under consideration by the federal authorities.

Lilia Yegorova

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