Chemical manufacturing water efficiency

Chemical manufacturing vessel-washing procedures


Businesses in the chemical industry use a lot of water when washing vessels, but it is possible to achieve cost savings of between 25 and 95 per cent. You could save significant quantities of water by using the following procedures and measures:

  • communication - make sure your staff understand the most effective washing methods
  • batch formulation - processing the same types of chemical in batches can reduce the frequency of vessel washing
  • mixing outside the vessel - this may reduce the need for vessel washing
  • dedicated equipment - using specific vessels for specific products can reduce cleaning requirements
  • production scheduling - batching compatible products together will minimise the washing needed between them
  • high-pressure cleaning - systems that direct dense sprays and jets of wash liquor can help reduce the amount used, while improving wash efficiency by 90 per cent
  • automated vessel washing - you can use this to control water use more precisely and reduce emissions, especially in enclosed vessels
  • optimising cleaning levels - ensure that you use only the required level of cleaning for particular products - you may not need to wash at all, or you might be able to reuse wash liquor
  • optimising cleaning agents and solvents - using different cleaning agents and solvents may reduce washing
  • using wash liquor in product - look into using wash liquor to dilute subsequent product batches where this is required
  • material recovery - where you can't reuse wash liquors, look at ways of recovering materials from the effluent

You should review your cleaning procedures regularly to minimise water use and effluent production.