Robert Gordon University (RGU) is working with one of Scotland’s leading treatment solutions providers to address a significant industry challenge.

The three-year project will see RGU’s School of Engineering teaming up with Ross-shire based company Sureclean as part of a £249,000 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to develop a tailored mobile treatment package for the processing of high chloride, oily waste produced by a range of industries, including oil and gas. 

Currently, treatment of this waste, in order to meet discharge consents, is a significant challenge to the industry. Globally, it is the norm for waste to be accumulated and stored through time as local treatment opportunities are not available.  This is stored in large quantities in tanks and lagoons with treatment costing up to £3.5m per lagoon. 

KTP Associate Shoja Shokofan will work with Sureclean’s operations manager Richard Walker to design the system, while the project’s Principle Investigator (PI), RGU lecturer Dr Mamdud Hossain, will be the knowledgebase supervisor. 

A second associate will be employed after one year to work on the chemical treatment aspect of the project with RGU’s Dr Morgan Adams acting as Principal Investigator and knowledgebase supervisor. 

Mr Walker said: “Previous KTPs have not only strengthened our treatment capabilities but have contributed greatly to our business and become part of the Sureclean team.  

“We have a range of treatment technologies within our fleet but we currently do not have one which addresses the problem of remediating high chloride oily waste water streams.  At present this waste has to be transferred to third parties for treatment, costing a significant six-figure sum annually.”

He added: “The KTP will firstly work on a R&D small scale trial before developing the treatment system into a full field model.  The objective is to design a system which can be deployed close to the contaminating operational activity; this will enhance operations and significantly reduce storage and transfer costs.”

Mr Shokofan said: “I am excited to be working on this project to provide a cost-effective solution to an industry wide problem.  Although I know it will be a very challenging project, the outcome of this study will have a great impact on the waste treatment industry.  This system will also complement Sureclean’s other treatment solutions and allow them to extend their service capabilities.”

Dr Hossain said: “It is great to be working with Sureclean on another KTP project which has the potential to add a great deal of value to the company and also change the way that this type of waste is dealt with.

“The treatment of waste products produced by a variety of industries has always been a tricky and expensive issue and we are looking forward to helping Sureclean develop a new, innovative method of approaching this.”

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Image Credit: RGU

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