MPW’s Industrial Water (IW) division is the preeminent mobile solutions provider for industrial, ultrapure water. Each day, the MPW team works around the clock with regeneration plants, service centers and staging facilities located across North America to meet the diverse industrial water needs facing today’s modern industries.
Under the guidance of the company’s founders, MPW has proudly built one of the world’s largest fleets of mobile water purification equipment for media filtration, ultrafiltration, clarification, deionization and reverse osmosis treatment—improving water quality while also reducing operating costs for customers.
We recently caught up with Tony Donnadio, senior safety and technical services engineer and 34-year veteran to the IW team, to take a deeper look at some of the most commonly serviced industries within the industrial water space.
Because of environmental regulations across the country we’ve seen a large increase in the number of new natural gas plants over the years – right now, natural gas is an abundant and economically friendly fuel.
Generators for natural gas plants are powered by combustion turbines. During the pre-commissioning phase of a plant, water treatment equipment is used to generate steam for startup steam blows. This steam will remove damaging debris and scale formation from super heaters, re-heaters and steam pipes that are normally connected to power plant turbines
This is typically where we come in. Most power plants that have their own water system can run a few hundred gallons of water per minute. While that capacity is fine for day-to-day production needs, steam blows require much higher volumes of water. Since it is difficult and costly to try to recapture, cool and re-purify this large volume of used steam, MPW’s pure water support services provide the required consistent, uninterrupted feed of high purity DI water to the construction firm or power plant so it stays on schedule with individual and/or combined steam blows during the project.
We often find during this steam blow process that customers take interest in our Build, Own, Operate, Maintain (BOOM) services as well – especially during new builds. Many times, plant operators know they will need similar water needs in the future and would prefer not to worry about contracting an outside provider twice, so we’ll work with them to outfit their operation with a permanent concrete pad to house their unique equipment needs. Essentially, BOOM allows plant management to focus on fundamental operations, while MPW operates the water treatment system for them.
Tighter environmental restrictions have also given rise to ash pond remediation projects – either for coal-fired power plants looking to stay in compliance with new regulations or for plants undergoing the coal-to-gas conversion process. We’re often contracted to assist with TSS removal, filtration and clarification as well as the removal of heavy metals.
Our support in the chemical market varies depending on the company. Sometimes, chemical plants will need ultrapure water for some phase of a new or existing process, and we’ll be brought on to help remove water impurities.
In addition, similar to the power industry, chemical plants often utilize our BOOM services for prolonged use of our equipment. For instance, we recently did work with a major chemical plant in the U.S. where some of their systems were more than 100 years old. For that customer, we brought in our containerized equipment and put in a whole new purification system, updating a very old chemical plant in a much more cost-effective manner than purchasing brand-new units.
Over the last 15 years we’ve serviced several steel mills, primarily for pure water rinses in coating processes. In these cases, we’ll typically work with the customer to source river or well water in their municipality and then transform it to ultra-pure water using our mobile units.
For example, we worked with a major steel company that was having problems with its specialty rolled steel products used in automotive plants to make car fenders. They noticed the steel was not passing quality control tests after spots were appearing on the steel. These spots were actually the result of the rinsing process – the company was using filtered river water to rinse the steel, which still had a host of impurities present. We were able to use our purification system to elevate that unfiltered water to an ultrapure level based on the application requirements.
Much like in a steel plant, automotive manufacturers utilize our ultrapure rinse water for various phases of product treatment. Certain car paint processes, for example, have different chemical plating applications for phosphate base coats, and automotive plants need pure water to mix with those chemical components in the dip baths. We then come on board to provide that purified water for either periodic or continuous use.
Pulp & Paper
Paper mills use large amounts of water and during the course of their processes, especially during the treatment phases. In fact, pulp and paper mills use an average of 54 cubic meters of water per metric ton of finished product. We’ve been involved in various projects within the pulp and paper space, but typically customers utilize our services to treat source water.
Take for instance our experience at a major Pennsylvania paper mill. The mill needed to take one of its older clarifiers out of service for repairs and called on MPW to deliver two filter trailers at each of two critical locations. MPW’s field service technicians worked on site for three months, rotating people on a bi-weekly basis to maintain uninterrupted water supply. MPW’s trailers were used as pre-filters, two installed at their DI system and two installed at their fiber line. Each of the systems provided a flow rate of 700 gpm.
When all was said and done, MPW had treated approximately 180 million gallons, consistently providing less than 1 NTU product water at the critical areas, allowing the customer to keep operations running during the repair process.
Regardless of the application, MPW has the talent, expertise and field experience to support nearly any customer need. For more information on MPW’s Industrial Water capabilities, click here.