Effluent quality of ammonia unit in Razi petrochemical complex

Document Type: Original Article


1 Environmental Technologies Research Center AND Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran


Establishment of great industrial centers and ports along the Khur-Musa Estuary in Mahshahr Port (Khuzestan, Iran) have been discharged a high volume of industrial and non-industrial pollutants to this estuary. The most important pollutants in Khur-Musa include industrial wastes and effluents including ammonia and urea units. This research aimed to survey the qualitative parameters of effluent of ammonia unit No. 3 in Razi petrochemical complex, and comparing these parameters to the allowable effluent discharge standards in Iran. The main objective of this study was to investigate the performance of this unit, and providing proper solutions to solve the existing problems. Thus, at first, the process of production and sources of pollutants in the effluent were recognized and sampling points were determined. The data were collected by examinations on parameters chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), nitrite ion (NO2), nitrate ion (NO3), pH, and (ammonia ion) NH4, during a consecutive six-month period. The results of the measurements were recorded monthly, weekly, and daily. The results showed that the COD and the concentration of ammonia and nitrate ions in the effluent of studied unit were considerably higher than allowable values stated in the national standards of Iran. Comparison between stated parameters in the six-month period of sampling indicated a more desirable trend for the value of studied parameters in the last month of the study (September). In order to upgrading effluent treatment system, an effective action plan could be provided to optimize the current status of effluent from ammonia unit in Razi petrochemical complex.  


1. Chowdhury N, Nakhla G, Zhu J. Load maximization of a liquid-solid circulating fluidized bed bioreactor for nitrogen removal from synthetic municipal wastewater. Chemosphere 2008; 71(5): 807-15.

2. Rabalais NN. Nitrogen in aquatic ecosystems. Ambio 2002; 31(2): 102-12.

3. Waki M, Yokoyama H, Ogino A, Suzuki K, Tanaka Y. Nitrogen removal from purified swine wastewater using biogas by semi-partitioned reactor. Bioresour Technol 2008; 99(13): 5335-40.

4. Department of Planning and Budget of Khuzestan Province, (Department of Economic Affairs. Mahshahr city socio-economic report. Mahshahr, Iran: Department of Planning and Budget of Khuzestan Province; 2007. [In Persian].

5. Sabz Ali Pour S, Jafarzadeh Haghighifard N, Monavari M, Mojtahed Zadeh Z. Qualitative survey of the effluent from the olefin unit of bandar-e-imam petrochemical complex. Water and Wastewater 2007; 18(3): 39-49.

6. Razi Petrochemical Co. Razi Petrochemical Product Line Graph [Online]. [Accessed 2013 Oct 9]; Available from: URL: http://www.razip.com/aboutus-complex-fa.html#10 [In Persian].

7. American Society for Testing and Materials. Annual Book of Astm Standards 2002: Section Eleven, Water and Environmental Technology: Water (Ii). Conshohocken, PA: American Society for Testing & Materials; 2002.

8. Eaton AD, Franson MA, American Public Health Association. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association; 2005.

9. Nasry Z. Investigations into the Quality of Wastewater in Iranian Industries. Journal of Water & Wastewater 2001; 16(40): 57-67.

10. Moula D. Survey of effluent quality and quantity of Shiraz petrochemical complex [Project]. Shiraz, Iran: Affairs Research and Development of Shiraz Petrochemical Complex; 2001. [In Persian].

11. Emami M. Corporate environmental responsibility in Bandar Emam Petrochemical Co. Proceedings of the International Conference on Environment; 2008 Dec 15- 17; Penang, Malaysia.