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ENG450 Engineering Internship Report: Coogee chemicals

Marsh, Daniel (2012) ENG450 Engineering Internship Report: Coogee chemicals. Internship Report, Murdoch University.



As a requirement of the Murdoch University Environmental Engineering Degree, enrolment in ENG450 Engineering Internship was undertaken by Daniel Marsh. The internship existed as a work placement at Coogee Chemicals, a chemical manufacturing, storage and distribution company located in Kwinana. Throughout the internship work was completed under the supervision of HSEQ Coordinator Shoba Senasinghe.

The main focus of this internship was the design, construction and testing of a pilot scale wetland for the treatment of wastewater generated within Coogee Chemicals Kwinana Site, thus providing engineering and environmental science experience to the intern while providing Coogee Chemicals with information on the feasibility of treating wastewater using wetlands. The waste streams are characterised as containing contaminants such as BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl-Benzene and Xylene), gasoline and diesel range hydrocarbons, detergents, solvents, caustic, ethanol and diesel. The hydrocarbons are sourced from activities such as tank dewatering, pumps and bunded areas, gantry floor wash downs and line washing.

Coogee Chemicals would like to use the pilot wetland as a treatment method to test the possibility of installing a larger treatment system within the Kwinana site for the treatment of all appropriate waste streams, collectively over 5m3/day of contaminated wastewater. Diesel contaminated groundwater was initially trialled followed by pond water which receives effluent from an oil-water separator.

As the internship is an experimental based project, data is being continuously recorded on the performance of the treatment capabilities of the wetland systems. At the time of reporting, there are six wetland cells operating in three separate treatment streams, making three pairs. Only data for the wetland system in South 3 is analysed. Wetland performance for groundwater showed very low effluent concentrations for benzene, ethylbenzene, m & p-xylene and o-xylene with 3ug/l, 3ug/l, 6ug/l and3ug/l respectively. Hydrocarbon ranges C6-9, C10-14, C15-28 and C29-36 achieved removal efficiencies of 80%, 94%, 95% and 74% respectively. Similar results could be seen for the pond water treatment also. Toluene was a problematic compound in both groundwater and pond water trials showing different behaviour to other hydrocarbons. The groundwater trial showed toluene removal of 66% although effluent concentrations were still reasonably high. Initial results from the pond water trial show toluene concentrations increasing, however this may be due to adsorbed materials being released back into the system.

Publication Type: Internship Report (Bachelor of Engineering)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
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