EghtesadOnline: Tabriz Petrochemical Company in East Azarbaijan Province has set a record in polyethylene production.
The polyethylene unit of the company produced 35,194 tons of high-density and low-density polyethylene in the first three months of the current fiscal year (started March 21), which was up 23% compared with the same period of last year, the Oil Ministry’s news agency Shana reported.
Located in northwest Iran, TPCO annually produces 840,000 tons of various products, namely raw polymers, polyethylene, polystyrene and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
Almost 40% of the plant's output are sold domestically and the rest is exported to clients in Asia and Europe. It is built on 380 hectares and its main feedstock and raw materials include naphtha, LPG, mineral oil and other chemicals provided by Tabriz and Tehran refineries, as well as petrochemical companies in southern Iran.
Besides increasing production, the company also pays attention to environmental issues. It recently launched a project to eliminate the volatile organic compounds emissions from its wastewater treatment unit.
VOC emissions are considered a serious environmental problem in petrochemical industries. The project, the first of its kind in Iran, was completed at a cost of $2.37 million.
“In the project, the surface of all open ponds has been covered with special aluminum sheets and flow of VOCs is sucked from the ponds via a network of pumps, transferred to furnaces, and burned there,” the managing director of Tabriz Petrochemical Plant said.
According to Siavash Darafshi, the company has also manufactured a regenerative thermal oxidizer system to collect and dispose emissions from its ABS unit.
RTO is an energy-saving system that oxidizes and decomposes VOCs and odorous emissions that are discharged from industrial or manufacturing processes at 850°C or higher. It is suitable for the treatment of high concentration gases.
It achieves emission destruction through the process of high temperature thermal oxidation, using the proper mix of temperature, residence time, turbulence and oxygen to convert pollutants into carbon dioxide and water vapor.
VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids and include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. They cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches and nausea, while harming the liver, kidney and central nervous system.
What makes RTO the most widely-used emission abatement technology is its ability to repurpose the thermal energy generated during operation to reduce operating costs and energy consumption of the system itself.
Using Recycled Wastewater
Another environmental project of the company is to transfer recycled wastewater from Tabriz Wastewater Treatment Plant to TPCO to help reduce the mounting pressure on drinking water resources of Tabriz and sustain water transfer to the petrochemical complex in the provincial capital.
The Tabriz plant now uses water from Zarrineh River that rises in the Zagros Mountains in Kurdestan Province, passes through West Azarbaijan Province and flows into the famous Lake Urmia.
When the project is completed, the petrochemical facility will be cut off from the river and only use treated wastewater. Five million cubic meters per year of effluent from the Tabriz Water Treatment Plant will be sold to the petrochemical company.
Iran’s petrochemical sector has grown significantly and prepared policies to complete the value-added chain in the key sector.
The rapidly expanding petrochemical industry supplies most of the domestic need, thanks to the quality and diversity of products. Export volumes are significant, too.
According to plans, Iran is to increase annual petrochemical output from the current 90 million tons to 133 million tons in five years.