Water Technology Kazincbarcika: Hungary strengthens its production base

Donau Chemie Water Technology

Water Technology Kazincbarcika: Hungary strengthens its production base

Major milestone for the production base in Hungary. The water technology plant in Kazincbarcika has received a new reactor for the first time. Read why this replacement was important, what challenges we faced and how everything went.

Ferric chloride and polyaluminum chloride for wastewater treatment

The products of the water technology plant in Hungary – ferric chloride and polyaluminum chloride – are indispensable for the proper purification of municipal and industrial wastewater for the environment before it is then "released back into nature" from the wastewater treatment plant.

The production of these products, however, places high demands on the industrial production facilities, which have to withstand a lot. It is therefore only natural that the reactors in particular have a limited service life - usually five to eight years. It is therefore quite remarkable that the polyaluminum chloride reactors in Kazincbarcika have already entered their eleventh year thanks to careful handling and good maintenance.

Reaktortausch in Kazincbarcika


Complex challenges: the first reactor replacement in March

The first reactor replacement took place in March. This rather complex undertaking required meticulous coordination between a wide range of service providers and the company's own teams:

  1. All supply and discharge lines for raw materials, finished product and energy had to be disconnected.
  2. The steel hall struts were removed.
  3. The hall roof was opened over several square meters.
  4. The old reactor was lifted out with two huge cranes in millimeter work.
  5. Finally, the new reactor was lifted in and placed exactly on the intended base.
  6. Then, of course, all the pipes had to be reconnected.
  7. Finally, the roof was closed again and the hall struts reinstalled.

Then came the big moment: the first production run with the new system! Is everything working?

Reaktortausch in KazincbarcikaReaktortausch in Kazincbarcika  


The result

Hallelujah, everything is okay! We can finally supply our customers again, who can rely on new power after a short break.

Congratulations and thanks to the project team under the leadership of plant manager Andreas Gömze, who did an excellent job!

Would you like to find out more about our state-of-the-art water treatment products and their areas of application? Visit our website!
Read also: Water technology products in focus: What is...


Donau Chemie Water Technology


The main application for ferric chloride today is water treatment. It is mainly used to remove phosphates from wastewater, but it is also used as a coagulant (to flocculate particles) and to remove sulphides (such as hydrogen sulphide) from wastewater. As a coagulant, it is not only used in wastewater treatment, but also in drinking water treatment, as well as industrial and process water treatment. Apart from wastewater treatment, ferric chloride is also used for etching (e.g. of printed circuit boards) and in organic synthesis as a catalyst for the Friedel-Crafts reaction. In the past, it was also used as an astringent (hemostatic agent) and was therefore used in medicine.

The active ingredient iron undergoes various chemical reactions. For example, iron can combine with phosphate ions or sulphide ions. These substances are poorly soluble in water and are therefore precipitated as solids. In addition, a number of iron hydroxides are formed with water. Both the iron ion and the iron hydroxides act as coagulants with their positive charges. This reduces the repulsion of particles in the water and the particles join together to form larger ones, which are then heavier and can settle more easily.

Iron ions and chloride ions disperse rapidly in the water. Iron reacts with phosphate or sulphide or forms hydroxides with the water. Ultimately, a precipitated sludge is formed which can be separated from the water. Chloride ions remain dissolved in the water.

PAC is the acronym for polyaluminum chloride. It is a metal salt solution, similar to ferric chloride. The function and mode of action is therefore also similar to ferric chloride, with a few differences:

PAC is partially neutralized. This means that some chlorides are replaced by hydroxide ions. As a result, aluminium hydroxide chloride ions are formed, which can combine into larger units ("polymerize"). These polymers have a higher charge and therefore a better flocculation effect. The product also reacts less acidically. PAC is therefore used both for phosphate precipitation in waste water and for coagulation/flocculation in waste water, drinking water, industrial water and swimming pool water.
Another application is the paper industry: aluminum has been an important auxiliary material in paper production since the 19th century. In the past, aluminum sulfate ("alum") was mainly used for this purpose, but in the last 20-30 years many processes have been converted to PAC, as this has certain advantages for the modern paper process.


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