Commercial Buildings Search for Safe and Sustainable Water Treatment Solutions

Solids provide a safer option for people

AP Tech’s solid chemistry water treatment programs  are developed and produced using the EPA’s Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry, emphasizing safety, efficiency and conservation of resources.

Like many facilities where numerous people congregate, commercial buildings such as offices, hotels and restaurants have a growing need to protect their heating and cooling systems with safer and more sustainable solutions. Transporting pails or barrels of hazardous liquid chemicals through public or employee spaces and using liquid chemicals in close proximity to building tenants and members of the public can be dangerous.

Many facilities have mechanical rooms close to building populations – often either in the basement level next to or immediately below building office space or in a roof top mechanical room, right above executive offices. Other commercial facilities such shopping centers and tourist attractions have campus-like environments with multiple small mechanical rooms and heating and cooling equipment in numerous locations.

A recent report published by the World Green Building Council, a network of national green building councils in more than one hundred countries, determined that there are actually health benefits associated with working in sustainable buildings. Specifically, the study found that workers in green offices experience less stress, better health and are more productive.

Solids provide environmental and safety advantages important to commercial building management teams.

Case Study – A commercial center reaches environmental and safety goals

Water Treatment Challenge:

One very large commercial center had been using liquid chemistry water treatment products in its cooling system for many years. The technical results had always been acceptable. In recent years, however, the management team of the commercial center had become more and more focused on environmental issues. Partnering with their water treatment provider and AP Tech, they evolved their traditional water treatment and maintenance program to be sustainability. By making the switch to solids, the commercial center was able to create a comprehensive, multi-directional water treatment program to help them reach their new environmental and safety goals.

Solving the Water Treatment Challenge with Solids:

The commercial center installed AP Tech’s solid chemistry for water treatment program for five cooling towers and chillers, each with 1,000 tons of refrigeration, with slightly soft municipal water for make-up.

With the implementation of the solids program, cycles of concentration were increased from 5 to 10, which enabled significant water savings and reduced chemical usage. PLC controllers were installed to allow for automatic, ongoing corrosion measurement without the need for corrosion coupons and automatic control of the number of operating chillers needed at any one time.

After six months, the performance of the solid chemistry provided as good as or better system protection as the previous liquid chemistry program as tracked by the commercial center’s facility management team.

Case Study – Solids provide a safe solution for a poultry plant

Water Treatment Challenge:

A poultry processing plant in the southwestern U.S. was experiencing severe problems in its 3,500- ton ammonia refrigeration system.

The evaporative condensers were located on the roof so a “pulsed power” non-chemical water treatment device was used to treat one of the seven evaporative condensers, while the remaining six systems were only treated by heavy manual bleed. These practices were not effective and allowed heavy scale deposits to form on the evaporative condenser tubes, which resulted in high condensing pressure and increased energy costs. Severe corrosion occurred, which significantly reduced the life span of the evaporative condensers. The plant was considering an expensive coating to help avoid premature replacement of the corroded system.

Plant personnel considered a liquid chemical water treatment program but were concerned about the safety and handling requirements associated with transporting and storing hazardous liquid water treatment chemicals on the roof. The limited space available for drum storage around the evaporative condensers and in the compressor room was also an issue.

Solving the Water Treatment Challenge with Solids:

AP Tech’s solid chemistry for water treatment provided as non-hazardous program in recyclable plastic bottles rather than liquid in drums. The solids are dissolved as needed into a small plastic reservoir using a dissolving board. The feed solution is then pumped into the system being treated, as is done with liquid chemicals.

The dissolving boards were installed inside an enclosure located on the roof near the condensers, and the blended solid concentrates were provided in 11-pound bottles that can be easily transported to the roof as needed. Solids provided benefits of:

  • Simplicity of use (solid concentrate is easily moved throughout the facility and product loading only requires handling a single bottle)
  • Reduction of splash and spill concerns
  • Elimination of drum handling, storage and disposal
  • Ideal for use in hard-to-reach locations
  • Reduction of fuel and greenhouse gas emissions associated with product delivery
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