Bechtel acquires Chevron water treatment process

Engineering group Bechtel on Monday purchased Chevron’s wastewater treatment (WWT) process, a technology that improves the efficiency of petroleum refineries.

The WWT Process is a proprietary, two-stage sour water stripping process that separates ammonia and hydrogen sulfide streams from sour waters generated by a refinery’s process units.

The technology also allows debottlenecking of sulfur plants and can reduce the cost of new sulfur units, especially in refineries that process high nitrogen crudes.

“This is a world-class technology that enhances our capability to deliver customers high-quality, technologically superior water and sulfur processing units more efficiently and cost effectively,” said Scott Johnson, vice president and general manager of Bechtel’s onshore oil and gas/downstream division.

“This acquisition complements our current suite of refinery technologies and continues our long-standing practice of making sure we have the right resources to help our customers meet their needs," he added.

The WWT Process was developed and improved by Chevron over the past 40 years. The process achieves higher purity separation and recovery of ammonia from sour water streams, reduces the size requirements of sulfur plants and removes operating problems associated with ammonia salts in sulfur units, according to company officials. 

The stripped water is suitable for reuse or discharge through downstream treating facilities. The high-purity hydrogen sulfide is a premium feed to conventional sulfur recovery units or sulfuric acid plants.
Meanwhile, the ammonia may be recovered for commercial sale, internal use, or separately incinerated.

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