HIDDEN COSTS: Iron use Steals Alkalinity/pH and Actually Increases Hydrogen Sulfide and Corrosion

The usual discussion of sulfide removal emphasizes iron chemistry and fails to mention other reaction products resulting from the chloride and sulfate being released when the iron combines with the sulfur to form iron sulfide, a black precipitate. Additionally, iron strips alkalinity when used inside the plant. If there is also a chronic phosphorus deficiency, the result is needless organism death and higher plant biosolids disposal costs. The focus in this write-up is on odor control complications with iron sulfate.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IRON SULFATE IS USED FOR ODOR
CONTROL IN WASTEWATER? 

1. The first step in the reaction produces iron sulfide as a precipitate and sulfuric acid. If this were all that happens in wastewater, iron would be fed at a stoichiometric rate of 4.5 lbs. of ferrous sulfate to remove 1 pound of H2S. This turns out not be the case and 2 to 3 times that amount is necessary for sulfide reduction. Why? There are competing reactions in wastewater that will consume iron. Phosphorus, chlorides, sulfates, hydroxide, carbonate, oxygen and other common compounds compete for the available iron.

2. Now let us examine what may happen to the H2SO4 that is produced as a reaction product. First, it is corrosive and works to lower the pH in the wastewater. Second, sulfuric acid rapidly dissociates and will allow SO4-2 to be used as an oxygen source by the sulfate reducing bacteria producing more H2S.

3. Theoretically, iron sulfate could produce as much sulfide as it removes stoichiometrically, which then must be removed with additional iron. Lowered wastewater pH will also allow more H2S to be released as gas.

COMPARISON TO THIOGUARD CHEMISTRY

In contrast, Thioguard does nothing to lower the pH of the wastewater, produces no reaction products that can lead to additional sulfide production, and produces no sludge to settle out in the system or to be dewatered at the WWTP. The reaction is as follows:

The Magnesium binds the sulfide in a similar manner to iron and it will not be released unless the pH drops to 5.5 which is not normal in wastewater. More importantly, Thioguard is preventative and controls the formation of sulfide by increasing the pH and retarding the Sulfate Reducing Bacteria activity.

CHOOSING THIOGUARD WILL:

THIOGUARD® Takes the Cake… and Makes it Better.

For a nearly one million gallon a day plant in Lambertville, NJ the good news just kept on coming. First, they started using Thioguard  to condition their primary sludge to reduce odors from the plant. This worked so well, they began to ask, “Where else can Thioguard be applied?”

As the winds whipped in early Spring, it was discovered that a significant amount of odor was coming from the nearly quarter million gallon sludge holding tank at their site. Since Thioguard worked to reduce the primary sludge odors, they wondered if it would work for stored sludge waiting to be pressed.

After establishing a stable pH range of 7.5-8.0 s.u., with just a couple of gallons a day, odors were reduced to satisfactory levels… and then something very interesting happened. Not only were odors in the press building reduced, but the press cake was drier. On average nearly 20-40% drier.

Why? Thioguard is technical grade magnesium hydroxide: a buffered source of alkalinity that is used to increase pH. Elevated pH promotes better polymer performance. Not only that, but due to divalent cation bridging, the press supernatant quality can be clearer as well. Any remaining alkalinity is then returned in the supernatant to the headworks of the plant.

The Lambertville results were recently verified on a much larger scale through bench testing at a treatment plant in Newark, Ohio. The chart below illustrates expected typical annual cost savings in hauling and tipping after the addition of Thioguard at a 100 MGD plant. The bottom line? For every 1% improvement in cake solids, the plant would save approximately $214K in hauling and tipping costs. In multiple tests, the use of Thioguard consistently resulted in 5% to 13% improvement in cake solids with greatly reduced water weight. Drier cake solids means less to haul, and fewer loads translates directly into operational savings.

Magnesium’s Impact on Vitamin D Intake

The influence that magnesium has on the way our bodies process vitamin D has big implications for bone health. The studies suggest that taking a magnesium supplement can help people reach their desired level of vitamin D faster. Not only can they reach that level faster, but magnesium may also more effectively facilitate the actions of vitamin D on bone health. An additional 200 mg of magnesium is all it should take to get the average person up to an adequate intake.13% improvement in cake solids with greatly reduced water weight. Drier cake solids means less to haul, and fewer loads translates directly into operational savings.

  • Magnesium is important in regulating levels of vitamin D.

  • Many Americans fail to get enough magnesium as well
    as vitamin D in their diet.

  • Improving levels of both minerals could improve bone strength
    and lower risk of cancer and heart disease.

For more information about the health benefits of Magnesium click here

Multiple Benefits to Your Process,Multiple Benefits Downstream

With the THIOGUARD® Advantage Package, it’s your process Mg+nified!(TM)

Benefits outlined in this table require Thioguard’s superior technical grade magnesium hydroxide combined with the Thioguard Advantage Package of consulting, performance testing, inventory control and delivery services.

THIOGUARD BENEFITS IN YOUR COLLECTION SYSTEM

Odors | Corrosion | FOG (Fats, Oil, Grease) | Air Relief

Comments: Customers can “dial in” the desired level of treatment. Best acid neutralization prevents premature infrastructure corrosion & replacement, adds numerous benefits downstream. Thioguard can reduce FOG related SSOs. Thioguard can reduce pumping costs on long force mains.

THIOGUARD BENEFITS IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT

BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) | TSS (Total Suspended Solids)
NH3 (Ammonia) | Phosphorus | FOG

Comments: Thioguard is the only liquid phase treatment used in the collection system that can enhance the treatment process at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

THIOGUARD BENEFITS IN BIOSOLIDS TREATMENT

Digestion | CH4 Methane Production Enhanced DewateringComments: Thioguard added to the collection system or sludge digestion process can also help the digestion and dewatering processes at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

THIOGUARD BENEFITS IN NUTRIENT REMOVAL/MODIFICATION

Comments: Thioguard added to the collection system or sludge digestion process can also help the digestion and dewatering processes at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

There’s no magic bullet for fitness, but magnesium comes close

My oldest son’s basketball tryouts are looming this week. He cares deeply about making the team and asked me what he should do to prepare. I suggested he sleep and eat well before the tryouts, which may not have been the novel or life-changing answer he was seeking. I gather he was hoping for a magic bullet, something that would make his muscles strong and flexible, deliver him energy, render him well rested, and keep stress at bay.

Now that I think of it, buddy, there just may be a magic mineral that does all of these things. Magnesium helps with energy, muscle strength, flexibility, sleep and stress management — everything you need.

Basketball tryouts are no joke. They involve hours of running, pivoting, head-to-toe muscle use and quick reflexes. Magnesium contributes to flexibility and helps to prevent injury by loosening tight muscles. Without enough magnesium, muscles can’t properly relax, possibly causing cramps. Low magnesium can create a buildup of lactic acid, known to cause post-workout pain and tightness. Also, much of the body’s energy comes from ATP, a molecule that captures chemical energy from food and uses it to fuel other processes in the body. ATP production depends on magnesium.

Magnesium obviously won’t build my son’s arm muscles in time for tryouts, but it does help the body produce more insulin-like growth factor, an essential part of long-term muscle growth and strength.

Magnesium helps to balance and control stress hormones. Specifically, magnesium is essential for the production of serotonin, which is responsible for relaxing the nervous system and lifting moods. Serotonin also contributes to healthy sleep. A lack of magnesium upends sleep not only because of its role in serotonin production but also because it topples the sleep regulating hormone melatonin.

Magnesium is one of the essential electrolytes needed for efficient hydration. Sorry to disappoint you kids that were hoping I’d recommend a Gatorade for your tryouts; instead, you need to eat real magnesium and potassium-rich foods, and drink lots of water. A few magnesium stars include leafy green vegetables, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, brown rice, avocado, beans, raw cacao, edamame and seaweed.

A winning smile won’t command my son a spot on the basketball team, but perhaps it will reveal him as a positive, eager player. Low magnesium leaves saliva with excess calcium and phosphorous, which can damage teeth and harm that winning smile.

Magnesium also builds strong bones, maintains heart health, helps to prevent diabetes by regulating blood sugar, prevents inflammation and strokes, boosts immunity, preserves a proper pH balance in the body, and relieves constipation. Phew. Magnesium might really be that magic bullet as it performs an essential role in every almost bodily function.

In fact, in the emergency room, magnesium is considered a critical medication for emergency heart, asthma, pregnancy preeclampsia and other life-threatening conditions because it has a relaxing effect and is found in every tissue.

Modern life conspires to steal our magnesium. Caffeine, phosphoric acid in soda, too much salt, extreme sweating, alcohol, prolonged stress, antibiotics and other medications drain our bodies of the much-needed mineral.

So how can a teenage boy, trying out for a basketball team, or not, obtain the recommended daily intake of 410 mg of magnesium? He can eat meals such as oatmeal for breakfast; a brown rice, black bean and avocado burrito for lunch; a banana with almond butter as a snack; and roasted chicken, sesame noodles and a spinach salad for dinner. One of the most relaxing ways to absorb magnesium is to take a bath with magnesium or Epsom salts. Our skin is our largest organ for ingestion into the blood system so magnesium baths can both relax us and contribute to our magnesium intake.

Ensuring my son has healthy levels of this mineral is not going to secure his spot on the eighth-grade basketball team, but it will help him sleep well, boost his mood and lower his stress; make it less likely that his muscles cramp; and more likely that he is flexible and energetic. These are good outcomes any week of the year.

Harness the Versatility of Magnesium Hydroxide

Improves Odor Control, Reduces F.O.G. & Eliminates
Caustic Usage for Significant Cost SavingsLake

THIOGUARD® is a safe, industrial-strength milk of magnesia that adds alkalinity and raises pH levels at your treatment plant. In current applications, the addition of Thioguard delivers measurable benefits in three powerful ways:

1. INCREASES ALKALINITY/ELIMINATES CAUSTIC
Thioguard increases alkalinity for nitrogen removal. Every gallon of Thioguard dosed results in nearly two gallons of 50% caustic reduced, resulting in significant cost savings and a safer workplace.

2. ENHANCES GREASE CONTROL

Enhances Grease Control

3. IMPROVES ODOR CONTROL BY 95% WHEN COMPARED
TO 
CALCIUM NITRATE
Thioguard controls odors continuously by maintaining appropriate alkalinity and prevents daily “spiking,” which typically requires additional treatment locations. Nitrates only control odor with increased/residual nitrogen loading to the WRF. In addition, Thioguard is the ONLY commonly used technology that has a direct mechanism to prevent corrosion.

Enhance Phosphate Treatment with THIOGUARD®

In plants currently using metal salts, the addition of
THIOGUARD® technical grade magnesium hydroxide can
REDUCE METAL SALT USAGE BY UP TO 50%

Increased regulation of total phosphorus limits are a fact of life, and another challenge for WWT plant operators and engineers. In most treatment plants, metal salts (ferrous/ferric or aluminum) are added for the treatment of phosphates.

Adding THIOGUARD® technical grade magnesium hydroxide will:

  • Minimize or eliminate the addition of metal salts
  • Enhance biological phosphorus uptake in bioreactors
  • Reduce the amount of metal-laden sludge
  • Increase agricultural phosphate recovery
  • Reduce dewatering, handling and transportation costs
  • Eliminate the need for expensive plant upgrades

THIOGUARD® is specifically formulated for maximum alkalinity
and magnesium utilization in biological processes, enhancing the
performance of metal salts in removing phosphates chemically –
while simultaneously improving biological uptake in bioreactors.

 

THIOGUARD® improves plant performance
Improved plant performance =
Significant Savings

Thioguard is engineered to provide maximum magnesium hydroxide and sustained alkaline utilization, enhancing the formation of metal hydroxide precipitate and increasing the adsorption of soluble phosphorus.

The benefits of adding THIOGUARD® to your treatment processes are not limited to enhanced phosphorus treatment and management. In addition, THIOGUARD® is the ONLY commonly used product that has a direct mechanism to prevent corrosion through sustainable and balanced pH levels. You will also benefit from a reduction in the formation of metal-laden sludge – significantly reducing your handling and transportation costs. The benefits are numerous and system-wide, making THIOGUARD® the practical choice for your entire system.

The Solution to Your F.O.G. Problem is THIOGUARD®

The accumulation of fats, oils, and grease can be dramatically reduced through the use of THIOGUARD® technical grade magnesium hydroxide. THIOGUARD® is a strong base, and a moderate pH adjuster, which adds non-carbonate alkalinity to the wastewater. As pH increases, fats, oils, and grease become more soluble. The practical effect on municipal wastewater systems is a rapid, dramatic reduction in fat, oils, and grease buildup within the collection, transport and treatment structures.

 THIOGUARD® does NOT transfer F.O.G. problems “downstream,”
only to reappear in your plant.

THIOGUARD® eliminates the problem, by improving the immediate environment, allowing “good bacteria” to perform their function. By the time the wastewater reaches your reclamation facility, the majority of the F.O.G. has been either consumed or reduced to simpler organics.

The addition of THIOGUARD® boosts pH levels, THROUGHOUT your system, PREVENTING the conditions that encourage the deposition of grease, which can clog lines, and accumulate on the surface of pump stations and your treatment plant. With improved pH, solubility is increased significantly, by a factor of 10x in some cases. THIOGUARD® is typically added through a single Feed Unit, and provides multiple benefits throughout your system, from source to discharge.

THIOGUARD® provides the greatest power to neutralize acid over long infrastructure distances, while providing additional benefits to your waste water treatment plant’s biological treatment processes. The chart below compares alkalinity per gallon, illustrating the superiority of THIOGUARD® against other commonly used treatment options.

THIOGUARD® Cuts through F.O.G. and Delivers
Multiple System-Wide Benefits

The benefits of adding THIOGUARD® to your treatment processes are not limited to the prevention or reduction of F.O.G., through sustainable and balanced pH levels. THIOGUARD® also prevents corrosion and dramatically reduces the formation of sludge – significantly reducing your handling and transportation costs. The benefits are numerous and system-wide, making THIOGUARD® the best and most practical choice for your system.

Water Environment Federation Selects THIOGUARD’s Mary Evans as a 2018 Fellow For Contributions to the Water Profession

Mary EvansThe Water Environment Federation (WEF) recently announced Thioguard’s Mary Evans, among 15 distinguished members as a 2018 WEF Fellow recipient. This prestigious designation recognizes members’ achievements, stature, and contributions in the water profession. “The impressive accomplishments of this year’s WEF Fellows have made a profound impact in the water profession,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “We are honored to recognize their efforts to preserve and enhance the global water environment.” The WEF Fellows Recognition Program underscores WEF’s role as a valuable water quality resource, which is due in large part to the expertise of its diverse membership.

WEF Fellows are recognized in various areas of expertise including, but not limited to, design, education, operations, regulation, research, utility management and leadership. Mary Evans is a highly regarded member of the Water Environment Association of Texas and WEF, serving in a number of volunteer, committee and leadership capacities over a 40+ year water professional career. The 2018 WEF Fellows will be recognized during WEFTEC® 2018, WEF’s 91st annual technical exhibition and conference, September 29 to October 3 in New Orleans. For more information, visit http://www.wef.org/weffellowsprogram.

Water Environment Federation

About WEF The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 34,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, its mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation.

Thioguard

THIOGUARD® is a leading supplier of technical grade magnesium hydroxide and magnesium oxide to the wastewater treatment industry. Thioguard’s Total System Treatment is a non-hazardous application with no required reportable quantities, and is owned, mined and produced in the USA. Thioguard provides more alkalinity than any other additive, it is effective at treating odors, corrosion and FOG (fats, oils and grease), and also provides positive plant benefits for nitrification, biosolids production, digester performance, and chlorination. Thioguard is a division of Premier Magnesia, LLC. For more information, visit http://www.thioguard.com.

Thioguard® is Superior to Lime Slurry and Caustic Soda

ONE OF THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS IS:
“IF I”M USING X GALLONS OF LIME SLURRY OR CAUSTIC SODA,
HOW MUCH THIOGUARD® DO I NEED?

SOUNDS LIKE A SIMPLE QUESTION, RIGHT?

On the surface, it’s easy to do the theoretical calculations and provide exact alkaline equivalents. However, field and trial experience tells us something different. The amount of high grade Thioguard® – magnesium hydroxide required to achieve equivalent buffering/performance benefits in the biological reactors tends to be much lower than the calculations would suggest. Why?

Often overlooked are some of the side impacts of lime use, such as softening and pH spikes, and confusion about what standard total alkalinity tests are telling us. An easy way to find out the extent of softening that is taking place in your facility, is to filter your sample with a 0.45 micron filter before titration. This will remove the insoluble CaCO3 particles that are not “biologically available.” Another significant, yet overlooked impact is the EPA documented sludge production typically associated with lime.

EPA – wastewater technology fact sheet – chemical precipitation: “the addition of treatment chemicals, especially lime, may increase volume of waste sludge up to 50%.”

LIME SOFTENING

Lime is commonly used in potable water to “soften,” or remove hardness minerals, such as calcium and magnesium from drinking water, in an effort to minimize the effects of potential scaling in the water distribution system. However, in the softening process, calcium and magnesium are removed from water in the form of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) which are also forms of alkalinity. Removing hardness from water also removes alkalinity.

Lime SofteningIn wastewater, lime is often considered as an alkalinity supplement. However, the effects of lime softening can have undesirable consequences to the biological system, e.g., removal of alkalinity, creation of CaCO3 sludge, and the potential for bio-upsetting pH spikes.

Hot Zones Temperate ZonesThe simple fact: Thioguard® and lime slurry have different physical and chemical properties that affect how each responds to and reacts with the systems to which they are added. And because of these differences in properties, the impacts they impart and the utility for their use are starkly different.

 DID YOU KNOW…

  • Because of the high solubility of both caustic soda and lime, pH often becomes
    biologically prohibitive before ideal alkalinity levels and process stability can
    be reached.
  • The use of lime in, or prior to, primary treatment can actually reduce alkalinity going into the secondary treatment processes by precipitating CaCO3 in the primary clarifiers
  • Lime produces calcium carbonate in wastewater which acts as a coagulant for hardness and particulate matter.
  • Lime is an effective phosphate removal agent, but results in a large sludge volume and the addition of treatment chemicals, especially lime, may increase the volume of waste sludge up to 50 percent.

Hydrated Lime added in collection systems increases O&M costs
related to formation of scale and accumulated solids/sludge.
In severe cases this leads to line blockages and SSO’s

The use of lime generates significant amounts of sludge in wastewater collection systems and treatment plants. On a chemical basis, one ton of lime can generate as much as 5 tons of 20% sludge cake to remove or dispose. In contrast, Thioguard® reactions in wastewater produce only water and water-soluble products as TDS with NO added sludge. In fact, customers using Thioguard® have reported reductions of 15%-25% in total solids/sludge produced, due to a combination of improved biological performance, divalent cation bridging of floc matrix, and reduced inorganic solids loading.
WHEN COMPARED TO CAUSTIC SODA OR LIME SLURRY
THIOGUARD® IS SUPERIOR

Most wastewater treatment plant operators understand that their wastewater treatment plants function best at some ideal pH and that a minimum amount of alkalinity is required to keep microorganisms happy. But too often, the values of pH and alkalinity are incorrectly used interchangeably, and a thorough understanding of each parameter’s true relationship to biological stability and optimal performance – gets lost in the translation.

Most often this error in terminology stems from the use of the most common alkaline pH modifiers and alkalinity supplements, caustic soda and lime, where their use may successfully meet pH demands, but will likely fall short in supplying adequate alkalinity requirements without adversely elevating pH beyond biologically healthy limits. And often, maintaining pH stability and uniformity across entire treatment basins remains a virtual impossibility.

Compared to caustic soda or lime, Thioguard® is capable of supplying significantly more alkalinity in a bio-available form to a microbial wastewater system without adversely affecting pH. This creates a more suitable environment for bioremediation of BOD and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. Moreover, because magnesium supplies a light-weight, divalent cation, unlike the monovalent sodium in caustic, and heavier calcium in lime, Thioguard® helps to generate a denser, more easily dewatered sludge, with a higher percentage of cake solids.

Lb.s Alkalinity Per Gallon

DID YOU KNOW…

  • It takes 100+ mg/L of Thioguard® to raise a water sample to pH 8.8.
  • This same 100 mg/L of Thioguard® has the same neutralizing power as 138 mg/L of caustic soda and 135 mg/L of lime and would be the equivalent of, though significantly more reactive than, adding 172 mg/ L calcium carbonate alkalinity on a CaCO3 basis, assuming 100% bicarbonate conversion.

Thioguard Reactor systems treated to an initial pH of 8.5 using Thioguard, caustic soda and lime.Equivalent amounts of acid added to each over time.

NOW THAT’S POWER!