Refinery Utility Cash study related to reverse osmosis plant – to improve MTBF

Refinery Utility Cash study related to reverse osmosis plant – to improve MTBF

Desalination using reverse osmosis (RO) is a widely adopted technology known for its efficiency and ability to produce high-quality water. In this case study, we focus on a multinational company that required wastewater treatment through an RO system to meet environmental regulations. However, the operation faced recurring issues such as frequent chemical cleaning, clogging, and high replacement rates.


A team was assembled to investigate the various failures and analyze the root cause. It was discovered that fouling substances were causing the clogging, and further investigation revealed the potential for the formation of bacteria or bacterial growth during the long water journey.


To address the issue, the team examined several areas, including the storage and plant, and uncovered high levels of internal corrosion within the pipelines. This corrosion led to bacterial growth, which in turn contributed to the clogging of the filters. The filters required cleaning every 25 days.


Upon identifying the problem, the decision was made to replace the entire piping system from the storage to the plant with Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) pipes. FRP pipes are resistant to corrosion and possess a smooth surface. Over a three-month period, the material was procured and replaced incrementally, necessitating the shutdown of the three units with a capacity of 250 cubic meters per hour.


The replacement of the piping system yielded significant improvements. The frequency of cleaning decreased from once a month to once every six months. Additionally, the lifespan of the reverse osmosis elements increased significantly. It was discovered that fine particles were passing through the filters and causing clogs, which the new piping system mitigated.


The promoter at BiC, who was heading the plant during this period, initiated changes with the belief that solutions exist for every problem. Over time, many such challenges were overcome, leading to the refinery utility's trouble-free and highly efficient performance. The refinery utility remains one of the largest and most efficient in operation

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