As a global leader in corrosion control technologies, with a subsidiary that specializes in biological wastewater treatment, Cortec® Corporation is in a unique position to make life easier for wastewater treatment plant operators. Biological treatments from Cortec’s subsidiary Bionetix® International help plants get on track for more efficient waste processing after plant upsets or imbalances, while simple and effective corrosion and preventative maintenance solutions from Cortec® bid to help plant equipment and facilities last longer in a notoriously corrosive environment. Here is a closer look at how these strategies work and the problems they address.
Let Microbes Eat Away Your Wastewater Troubles
Wastewater treatment plants rely on naturally occurring microorganisms to break down waste substances. Practically speaking, the microorganisms feed on the waste and eliminate it from water and/or convert toxins into harmless substances that can be safely discharged back to the environment. However, this delicate balance is easily upset. Temperature fluctuations can slow down microbial activity in cool weather or encourage growth of unwanted substances in hot weather. A sudden influx of waste reflected by a high BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) can overload the system, choking it for oxygen and increasing bad odors as the natural biological mechanism switches from aerobic to anaerobic digestion. Startup and reseeding are also sensitive periods when it can be difficult to get a good microbial colony established in time to handle a heavy new load of waste materials.
Bionetix® International comes to the rescue with bioaugmentation, the addition of “good” bacteria to help with industrial waste and sewage cleanup. These biological “reinforcements” help tackle sewage overload in general and target specific contaminants in particular. BCP50™ is one treatment that provides a good microbial population for seeding a new municipal wastewater treatment system. It can also reduce sludge and odors in lagoons. BCP11™ is well-suited to digesting wastewater from chemical plants, while BCP22™ is targeted to digest FOG (fats, oils, and greases). Operators can remove high levels of ammonia with BCP655™, a bioconverter that in certain conditions acts better than nitrifiers. Rather than converting nitrogen to another form that requires further denitrification, BCP655™ removes nitrogen from wastewater by consuming compounds such as ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite—even in cool weather and at lower pH.
Do Not Let Corrosion Eat Away Your Structures and Equipment
The main activity of wastewater treatment does not negate the significance of maintenance at a wastewater treatment plant. A rich supply of moisture, H2S, and contaminants in the wastewater treatment environment creates a perfect recipe for corrosion, threatening to accelerate the deterioration of structures and equipment. An especially critical area is corrosion protection of electronics and electricals. In these days of ever-increasing reliance on technology, wastewater treatment operations are controlled by HMIs (human machine interfaces) and other automatic devices that regulate pumps and equipment throughout the plant and the municipality that it serves. Replacement of these electronics due to corrosion is extremely costly and can add up quickly if corrosion failures are frequent. Moreover, critical equipment failure can have serious effects on plant functions.
Fortunately, Cortec® has extremely simple answers for electronics and electricals. VpCI®-105 or VpCI®-111 Emitters are self-adhesive devices easy to stick inside a control panel. These devices emit Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors, which adsorb on metal surfaces within the enclosure to form a protective molecular layer that disrupts the normal corrosion reaction. VpCI® Emitters can be supplemented by spraying ElectriCorr™ VpCI®-238 or ElectriCorr™ VpCI®-239 over exposed electrical contacts (when the panel is powered down). This leaves behind a clear protective film that is effective even on electrical or electronics panels that are vented or not fully enclosed. A third step is to apply Corrosorber® cups. Similar to VpCI® Emitters, Corrosorbers are self-adhesive. Unlike VpCI® Emitters, they do not emit active corrosion inhibitors. Instead, they absorb H2S, helping make the environment inside a control panel less corrosive. By following this general prescription, one municipal wastewater treatment operation was able to significantly reduce the failure of HMIs located at pumphouses throughout the city, saving significant replacement costs with a price tag ranging from $15,000 to $40,000 apiece every six months.
Corrosion also takes its toll on structures within the plant. Metal railings, beams, tanks, walkways, and even equipment can benefit from an anticorrosive coating. Where rust has already set in, it should be removed, or else arrested with CorrVerter® Rust Converter Primer. Applied to corroded surfaces where loose rust has been brushed off, this fast-drying water-based primer converts remaining rust into a passive layer. VpCI®-373 is an anticorrosion primer that helps with good bonding to aluminum and galvanized substrates, while VpCI®-396 or VpCI®-384 serve as tough urethane topcoats for protection in harsh, unsheltered applications. For equipment that needs an unnoticeable layer of corrosion protection, VpCI®-386 clear can be applied directly over painted surfaces.
Concrete structures such as tanks, pillars, or floors should also be protected. MCI®-2026 Floor Coating is an excellent choice for protecting concrete floors from chemical ingress and physical wear and tear. Migrating Corrosion Inhibitors can be added to new concrete structures as admixtures (e.g., MCI®-2005) or to existing structures as surface applied corrosion inhibitors (SACIs) (e.g., MCI®-2020). Migrating Corrosion Inhibitors slow time to corrosion and reduce corrosion rates once started.
General plant maintenance can also benefit from a little extra protection here and there. For instance, CorrLube™ VpCI® Lithium EP Grease is a lithium complex grease that can be used in applications where NLGI grade 2 grease with added corrosion protection is needed. For NLGI grade 3 applications in severely corrosive environments, Cortec® offers EcoLine® Biobased Grease powered by Nano VpCI®. This multipurpose grease has superior corrosion protection properties and contains 86% USDA certified biobased content as an environmental “sustainability” side benefit. EcoLine® Cleaner/Degreaser also includes biobased content plus flash corrosion protection for metal cleanup tasks.
Make Life Easier for Wastewater Treatment Operators
Wastewater treatment can be a messy business with constant maintenance and oversight activities to perform. Together, Cortec® and Bionetix® are here to help make life easier for wastewater treatment plant operators by taking simple steps of bioaugmentation and corrosion preventative maintenance. Contact Cortec®/Bionetix® today for further help or a tailored solution! Cortec® corrosion and preventative maintenance solutions:
Bionetix® wastewater treatment solutions: https://www.bionetix-international.com/contact-us/
Keywords: Cortec, Bionetix, wastewater treatment, bioaugmentation, corrosion control, preventative maintenance, corrosion protection, MRO, corrosion protection of electronics and electricals, Migrating Corrosion Inhibitors
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