• Emmanuel Kweinor Tetteh Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Durban University of Technology
  • Sudesh Rathilal Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Durban University of Technology
Keywords: Dissolved air flotation, DAF, flotation, oil refinery wastewater, oil from water


The global demand for petrochemical and petroleum industry products unavoidably generates large volumes of oil refinery wastewater (ORW). The complete treatment, reclamation and disposal of the ORW to an acceptable environmental limit is currently a challenge to most of the petroleum industries. With the current development in conventional treatment methods viz. coagulation, dissolved air flotation (DAF), and biological and membrane separation processes. DAF, which is well-established separation process, effectively employs microbubbles as a carrier phase for separation. Although, DAF is frequently used in combined water and wastewater treatment plants, its fundamental characteristics and operational parameters have not yet been fully investigated for the treatment of ORW. In this study, the correlation and effects of the parameters understudy (coagulant dosage, air saturator pressure, air-water ratio and rising rate) on chemical oxygen demand, soap oil and grease, turbidity and total suspended solids removal from ORW were examined experimentally using a laboratory DAF system. The results showed that increasing the saturator working pressure and the rising rate had less effect on the system, than increasing the air-water ratio. The agglomeration of the oil droplets was found to depend solely on the polyaluminum sulphate (PAS) dosage to destabilize the oil droplets. The DAF treatability performance showed over 80% removal of the contaminants at optimum conditions of pH of 5, PAS dosage of 10 mg/L, rising rate of 15 minutes, air saturator pressure of 300-500 kPa, and air-water ratio of 5-15%. The PAS dosage was found to be the most significant factor. Therefore, a moderate increase of the PAS dosage under these optimum conditions will increase the DAF efficiency in the treatment of ORW.


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