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Pure water through innovations

16.01.2012

Pure water through innovations

SITTEC Ltd. in close cooperation with LUKOIL-Komi LLC introduces the technology of production and use of titanium coagulant.

Oil of Russia Magazine. January 2012. www.oilru.com

Elena Dmitrieva

(SITTEC Ltd.)

Water is an essential part of human life, nature, and social and economic development. At present there is a huge anthropogenic impact on water and water is never absolutely pure. Pure water may be obtained only through special purification. SITTEC Ltd. works in this vitally important sphere.

IN CLOSE COOPERATION WITH LUKOIL

SITTEC Ltd. is part of IFD Kapital Group, one of the largest diversified holdings in Russia. The cooperation between IFD Kapital and LUKOIL Oil company is very close. Suffice it to say, that the companies that make up the core of IFD Kapital, originally were subsidiaries of the oil holding. These old links still serve the interests of both parties.

One of the examples of the mutually profitable partnership is the commercialization of Yarega deposit titanium component. On the basis of its resources SITTEC builds up the production of titanium coagulant – a new highly effective chemical for drinking water purification and industrial and municipal waste water treatment.

The oil and titanium ore is mined by LUKOIL-Komi LLC in accordance with a valid license. Then the ore becomes property of SITTEC Ltd. (on the terms of purchase and sale) and is transported to an enrichment factory which produces titanium concentrate containing up to 50% of the principal form of titanium products – titanium dioxide (TiO2).

The history of the enrichment factory is quite interesting. In the 60-s and 80-s of the 20th century there were construction works on this production site. The units were planned to be used for the try-out of the process of titanium ore enrichment and production of titanium dioxide pigments. However due to changes in the country’s state and political structure and economic system the project was not implemented. After some time decisions as to the further use of the titanium resource were already taken by LUKOIL Oil Company which bought the main oil producing enterprises in the Komi Republic in 1999.

At present SITTEC is reconstructing the oil and titanium ore enrichment factory. However it is just the middle of the production line. It is followed by chemical production site which receives supplies of enriched titanium concentrate through pipelines. Complex technological processes of production of titanium tetrachloride and synthesis of titanium coagulant – the ultimate product of SITTEC Ltd. - will be carried out on the chemical production site. At the moment the site construction is underway.

PURE WATER

Purified water is largely used for industrial and municipal purposes – both for drinking needs, food preparation and technological processes, and as a heat carrier. Water purification is among the key problems of present days. The quantity of contaminated water continues to increase and even water which is supplied to population is often of poor quality. Around 90% of all water resources that are used today need constant purification, while the existing fresh water supplies are not enough to meet the needs of regions, separate cities, organizations, and land users.

Today a special attention is paid to problems of water treatment and purification due to their impact on people’s safety. The quality of water affects both people’s health and their sanitary and epidemiological welfare. It was that concern for the nation’s health that prompted the Russian government to approve the Pure Water Federal Target Programme through 2017. The programme is aimed at construction and reconstruction of water purification facilities which allow to provide population with pure water and to increase the volume of purified waste water.

NEW PROSPECTS FOR TITANIUM

One of the principal methods of purification of surface water, as well as of industrial and municipal waste water, is coagulation, i.e. physico-chemical connection of contaminations into sedimented flocs by means of using special chemicals known as coagulants. Traditionally aluminum and ferrum sulphate and hydroxychloride were used for the purposes. But with industry continually developing titanium compounds came forth.

Titanium is a quadrivalent non-toxic metal which is used for the manufacturing of light products of high firmness, and titanium dioxide serves as filler in various spheres – from pharmaceutics to plastics, paint, and paper production.

The new area in which titanium coagulant is used is water purification systems. Titanium coagulant combines best results with high economic efficiency. The innovation brings titanium to such spheres as housing and utilities, and environmental protection, and introduces the metal to completely new markets, considerably increasing the potential of different titanium conversion products.

Which are the basic advantages of titanium coagulant? Firstly, titanium has a higher valency than ferrum and aluminium which are used for the production of traditional chemicals for water purification. Besides, titanium is well known for its bactericidal properties, i.e. for its ability to suppress the growth of bacteria. Long-term tests showed that titanium containing materials emit into water ions having a bacteriostatic effect. The widespread use of titanium in medicine also contributed to the study of the bactericidal properties of titanium.

Thus in addition to its principal coagulating effect titanium also has disinfectant properties, allowing to reduce the amount of chlorine used for water disinfection, or to abandon the use of chlorine completely.

WAY OF INNOVATIONS

A lot has been done since the moment of formulating the main concept of titanium coagulant and up to the industrial pilot-scale tests which are being carried out at the moment.

At the present time SITTEC Ltd. is building a titanium coagulant plant in the Ukhta region in the Komi Republic and at the same time carrying out a large-scale programme of industrial pilot-scale tests of the product on the facilities of potential consumers within the context of the programme of production marketing.

These tests are also carried out on LUKOIL facilities in accordance with the decision of the Environmental and Industrial Safety Department of LUKOIL Scientific and Technical Council dated August 2, 2011.

SITTEC Ltd. and the Komi Republic have agreed upon the Plan of Titanium Coagulant Tests which are to be carried out on water purification facilities in 2011-2012. The document is mainly aimed at providing necessary conditions for the introduction of titanium coagulant on an industrial scale after the production attains the projected capacity in 2013.

The regions where SITTEC Ltd. carried out tests in 2011 ranged from Norilsk, Usinsk, Astrakhan, Tyumen, Ukhta, Syktyvkar, Tobolsk to Perm and other Russian cities. The tests involve both municipal water treatment organizations and industrial enterprises, including oil enterprises. It should be mentioned that all the results are positive, but there is a lot to be done, both in Russia and abroad. SITTEC Ltd. is planning to sum up these results in the nearest future and to present them to readers of  “Oil of Russia”. 


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