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Phillips Petroleum Company

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Wastewater treatment

Industry: Petroleum Refining

Wastes Reduced: Wastewater

Equipment: Artificial Marsh

Location: Sweeny TX

No. of employees: 1459

Contact: Dan Hunter

Phone: (409) 491-2200 ext 2216


Phillips Petroleum has constructed an artificial marsh to study the removal of organic chemical waste, heavy metals and toxicity The test facility consists of two parallel channels of rooted and floating aquatic vegetation with design treatment capacities ranging from 20,000 gpd to 100,000 gpd. Cattails and bulrush are contained in one of the channels. The other was planted with duckweed and torpedo grass. However, the torpedo grass was overtaken by the adjacent cattails, and our attempt at growing duckweed was unsuccessful. Additional floating aquatic plants are still being researched, while testing continues on the channels containing rooted aquatic plants.

P2 Application:

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the potential of various aquatic plants for treating organic chemical wastewater. Taking advantage of this new technology could result in cleaner discharge at a lower cost than the traditional wastewater treatment facility. Biotech Industries and Dr. B.C. Wolverton of Wolverton Environmental Services are providing scientific and engineering design services.

Environmental Benefits:

Phillips has found that the pilot artificial marsh is capable of reducing BOD by 61% and NH3-N by 32%. Test results also show reductions in the concentration of oil, suspended solids and chromium. Detected increases in phenol may indicate the breakdown of certain aromatic compounds. Significant reductions in toxicity measured with a microtox are also consistently observed.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

An artificial marsh requires less energy and is less costly to operate than traditional mechanical treatment systems.

Source: TCEQ

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