Tata Steel BSL establishes world’s first UV oxidation plant to treat cyanide in wastewater

A cutting-edge ultraviolet (UV) oxidation technology to treat cyanide in its coke oven wastewater has been adopted in Tata Steel BSL as a step towards achieving environmental excellence.

A cutting-edge ultraviolet (UV) oxidation technology to treat cyanide in its coke oven wastewater has been adopted in Tata Steel BSL as a step towards achieving environmental excellence.

It has established the world’s first UV oxidation plant in the steel industry, with support from research and development (R&D) team of its parent company Tata Steel, at its Narendrapur plant in Dhenkanal district of Odisha with capacity to treat 80 cu mtr of waste water per hour for the purpose.

This technology for commercialisation has been jointly developed by R&D team of Tata Steel and Environment and Coke Oven teams of Tata Steel BSL.

Tata Steel R&D team has protected the technology through patent on the key formula and novelty of the process. The conventional method of treating cyanide in coke oven wastewater, one of the most toxic and potentially deadly pollutants, is called solid sludge separation technology which may lead towards cyanide toxicity by secondary means of toxic sludge decomposition. However, the new technology will address this issue.

The company has got the equipment like different UV reactors, UV control panels customised before commissioning the plant in consultation with suppliers and the R&D team of Tata Steel.

With sustainability at the core of its operational process, Tata Steel BSL has made many other technological interventions ensuring no untreated water is discharged from the plant.

It has set up six effluent treatment plants (ETPs) and three gas cleaning plants (GCPs) for treatment of waste water from different units like two coke ovens, cold rolling mill, blast furnace, steel melting shop, etc.

Similarly, it has also established five sewage treatment plants (STPs) having total treatment capacity of 4,900 cu mtr of water per day in the plant and its housing colony.

It has increased quantity of water recycled from two MGD in FY20 to three MGD in FY21. Additionally, three surface run-off storage-cum-percolation ponds have been established with 45,000 cu mtr of water capacity near its residential township.

Most of the treated water is being reused in the plant operation, firefighting and horticulture.

The company has also commissioned coke dry quenching plants with implementation of dry quenching process instead of wet quenching of water, which saves around 65 cu mtr of water per hour.

It has established scientifically designed high-density polyethylene (HDPE) lined rainwater harvesting pond of capacity 50,000 cu mtr, first-of-its-kind in Tata Steel Group for utilisation of surface run-off available in the coke oven and raw material handling system area.

To stay ahead of the curve, the company has conducted a thorough water audit by the leading industry body of the country,the Confederation Indian Industry (CII), and implemented its recommendations saving around 9,000 cu mtr of water per day.

To ensure the water quality always remains as per parameters set by the regulatory bodies, the company has established a full-fledged environment laboratory for daily monitoring of quality of the discharged water which is well below the stipulated limit of the statutory authorities.


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