Abu Amirah: R&D efforts bearing fruit

Abu Amirah: R&D efforts bearing fruit

Dow solutions far-reaching

The company has imprinted its mark in the Gulf’s water and wastewater field with innovative products and game-changing technologies

May 2014

Dow Chemicals has highlighted that new products and technologies it has developed will reduce fouling and energy consumption while maintaining higher production efficiency in the Gulf’s desalination plants.

“At Dow, we are continuing to optimise the performance of our products by improving the designs of different components within the process and elements. “The efforts led by our R&D and Technical Service and Development teams both in our laboratories and on-site with customers are all geared towards achieving our goal of reducing the cost of desalination by 35 per cent by 2030,” said Rami Abu Amirah, commercial manager, Dow Water & Process Solutions, Middle East and North Africa.

Abu Amirah highlighted recent launches that will help optimise operations in the Gulf’s desalination units.

The company recently launched its SeaMaxx reverse osmosis membrane that offers the lowest energy consumption and Integraflo ultrafiltration modules that offer the highest removal efficiency for foulants such as bacteria, viruses, silt and turbidity.

“Integrated together, SeaMaxx and Integraflo are advancing the desalination industry by offering the lowest energy and highest fouling resistance to enable our partners to enjoy the true meaning of low-cost desalination,” remarked Abu Amirah.



Dow Ultrafiltration modules

Dow Ultrafiltration modules

In the Gulf, Dow is working with local partners such as the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Kaust) in Saudi Arabia to promote desalination technologies through research collaboration. “Our team at the Dow Middle East & Africa R&D Centre at Kaust has demonstrated successfully the performance of those new technologies for applications in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait in close collaboration with our key stakeholders,” said Abu Amirah.

“At Kaust, we recently launched a new demonstration plant to test sea water from the Red Sea. Our research at Kaust is demonstrating that Dow water membranes and UF technologies are delivering cost-savings through reduced energy use and better operational efficiencies for customers in the desalination, industrial, municipal, commercial and residential sectors,” he added.

Dow is on track with the initiative to manufacture its Dow Filmtec reverse osmosis elements in Saudi Arabia. About the status of the project, Abu Amirah said initial engineering at the site has started. He highlighted that the investment in the plant was the first of its kind for Dow outside the US and will enable the company to serve important emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, China and Southeast Asia.

In the Middle East, Dow offers a complete portfolio of globally-proven water technologies to help millions of people across the region access a sustainable source of potable water in some of the most water-challenged areas of the region, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman. These include Dow Ultrafiltration modules and skids, Dow Filmtec Reverse Osmosis  and nanofiltration membranes, Dowex Ion Exchange resins, Optimore polymeric adsorbents and Tequatic fine particle filtration modules in addition to advanced Aqucar biocides and Acumer poly acrylic acid that enable complete or tailored removal of ionic, organic, particulate and bio contaminants from various water sources.

The Al Ain Dairy and Park Hyatt Dubai wastewater reuse projects have ably demonstrated that sustainable water reuse practices are also profitable. Thanks to the successful implementation of a wastewater-fueled HVAC system at the Park Hyatt Dubai, the hotel was able to save enough potable water to fill as many as 62 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and this in the first year alone.

Such successes have positioned Dow as the preferred solutions provider for producing high-quality recycled water for district cooling applications in Dubai, the UAE and Doha, Qatar, in addition to opening doors for industrial water reuse in Saudi Arabia, said Abu Amirah.



A Dow wastewater reuse project helped provide cooling for Al Ain Dairy’s cow sheds

A Dow wastewater reuse project helped provide cooling for Al Ain Dairy’s cow sheds

Discussing Dow’s role in the wastewater sector, Abu Amirah said Dow’s component technologies enable industrial and municipal wastewater to be turned into a valuable resource. “Together, the Tequatic Plus fine particle filter, Filmtec reverse osmosis elements and IntegraFlo ultrafiltration membrane technology are driving energy efficiency and cost savings in municipal and industrial wastewater reclamation processes. In addition,  our selective ion exchange media and adsorbents are helping customers and communities meet more stringent discharge requirements for water that cannot be reused directly,” the official said.

Dow is a participant in the CEO Water Mandate, which seeks to make a positive impact with respect to the emerging global water crisis by mobilising companies to advance water sustainability solutions in partnership with the United Nations, civil society organisations, governments, and other stakeholders. This voluntary initiative creates a platform to share best and emerging practices and to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships to address the problems of access to water and sanitation.

Dow has been deeply involved in sustainable water treatment projects. At its Terneuzen facility in The Netherlands, its second largest plant globally, more than 10,000 cu m of municipal wastewater from the city of Terneuzen is treated to be used as industrial water to generate steam and feed its manufacturing plants. This project reduced energy consumption by 65 per cent and lowered CO2 emissions by 5,000 tonnes per year.

At Dow’s Tarragona facility in Spain, the switch to reusing about 20,000 cu m per day of municipal wastewater as industrial feedwater has increased the supply of potable river Ebro water to the growing tourist industry.

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