Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wastewater treatment plants

Water waste treatment:
Sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage, both runoff (effluents) and domestic. It includes physical, chemical and biological processes to remove physical, chemical and biological contaminants. Its objective is to produce a waste stream (or treated effluent) and a solid waste or sludge suitable for discharge or reuse back into the environment. This material is often inadvertently contaminated with many toxic organic and inorganic compounds.

Waste water treatment plants:

With a population exceeding 15 million, Cairo is the largest metropolitan area on the African continent. The continued expansion of this great city has called for infrastructure investment on a massive scale. The Gabal el Asfar wastewater treatment facility is just that. When the final phase is completed, it will be the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world, with a capacity of 3 million m3/d. The world second biggest is located in Shanghai, China.
Home to more than 12 million inhabitants, Shanghai is the largest city in China. The Bailonggang plant in Shanghai's southern suburbs, close to the estuary of the Yangtze River, became operational in 1999 and currently has a daily processing capacity of 2 million cubic m, about one-third of the total amount of wastewater treated in the city every day.

The Blue Plains water treatment plant in Washington D.C claims to be the thrid largest wastewater Treatment Plant in the world (birdview). Blue Plains treats an average of 370 million gallons of wastewater a day from all of DC and parts of MD and VA. Also, if you look at the north end of the pier you will see darker water. That is the discharge from the plant. The Stickney Water Reclamation Plant in Chicago was the biggest waste water plant in the world for a long time (birdview), and is still among the world largests. The Plant serves 2.38 million people in a 260 square mile area including the central part of Chicago and 43 suburban communities. The Plant has a design capacity of 1,200 million gallons per day.

Another big water treatment plant is the Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant (also known as Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant) run and operated by The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. It is located on Deer Island one of the Boston Harbor Islands in Boston Harbor. Deer Island is the third largest sewage treatment plant in the United States:

Sludge removed from the waste is sent to an array of 150-foot-tall egg-shaped sludge digesters, which are major harbour landmarks:

The Hyperion Treatment Plant in Los Angeles is one of the oldest and largest wastewater treatment plants of the United States. (birdview). The plant has been operating since 1894. Europe’s biggest water treatment plant is situated in Athens Bay, Greece on the Psyttalia island. The Psyttalia Wastewater Treatment Plant treats daily with 750.000 m3 of sewage and has a nominal daily capacity of 1.000.000 m3:


Aluminium smelters

Aluminium production:
Aluminium smelting is the process of extracting aluminium from its oxide alumina. Alumina is extracted from the ore Bauxite at an alumina refinery. The process of extracting aluminium from Alumina is an electrolytic process, so an aluminium smelter uses prodigious amounts of electricity. They tend to be located very close to large power stations, often hydro-electric ones, and near large alumina refineries where the alumina is produced. Others are situated along ports since a lot of them use imported alumina.

Largest Aluminium smelters:
Bratsk aluminium smelter is the largest producer of primary aluminium in the world. The smelter accounts for 30% of aluminium production in Russia and 4% of the world’s output. In 2007, it produced 995,000 tonnes of primary aluminium. This smelter is near the Bratks hydro elektric power station and uses a lot of the power coming from it. Russia also has the second largest smelter in the world located in Krasnoyarsk. The facility produced 989,000 tonnes of primary aluminium in 2007. The smelter accounts for 27% of aluminium production in Russia and for 3% of global output. It is located in the vicinity of the Krasnoyarsk Hydropower Plant and consumes approximately 70% of its energy. The pictures below were made in one of the Krasnoyarsk 26, 600 meters long, smelting

With a capacity of 872.000 tons of aluminium the factory in Manama in Bahrain is the world third biggest. The Hillside Aluminium factory in Richards Bay in South Africa has a capacity of 675.00 tons of aluminium per year and is therefore currently the fourth biggest in the world:

Aluminerie Alouette is the America’s largest aluminum smelter,and ranking fifth internationally. It is located in Sept-Iles in Canada and has a capacity of 572.000 million tonnes per year:

Among the biggest in the world are also the Boyne island smelter in Australia with a capacity of 545.000 tonnes per year, this smelter in Maputo in Mozambique with a production of 530.000 tonnes per year, this one in Australia in Tomago with a capacity of 520.000 tonnes per year. And this one in Tursunzoda in Tadsjikistan with also a capacity of 520.000 tonnes per year. You might wonder why China, which is the biggest producer of aluminium in the world, doesn't have a smelter among the biggest in the world. This is because china has a lot of smelters but none of them has a capacity of more then 400.000 tonnes per year. Their biggest is situated in Qingtongxia with a production of 385.000 per year. Although this may change very soon because China is planning a huge smelter in the city of Gganhzhou. Europe's biggest is in Sunndal in Norway with a capacity of 328,800 tonnes per year:

The biggest in the US is this smelter in
Evansville in Indiana with a capacity of 309.000 tonnes per year.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Oil wells

Oil well fields:
Oil wells are used to pump up oil from the ground. In the USA especially in California where huge oil fields are located these wells are placed in big groups. This makes some impressive manufactured landscapes like here in Missouri Triangle in California where the largest concentration of oil wells in the world is found:

This oil well field north of Bakersfield can also be seen in birdview with Micorsoft live maps:

California had even more impressive oil well fields in the beginning of the 20th century. At the coast at Long Beach in Los Angeles, where people are now swimming, giant oil derricks stood in a high concentration:

And in Signall hill north of Long beach Complete "woods" of these derricks stood on top of a hill. Today nothing is left of this:

This is because when a well no longer produces or produces so poorly that it is a liability, it is abandoned. In this process, tubing is removed from the well and sections of well bore are filled with cement to isolate the flow path between gas and water zones from each other, as well as the surface. The surface around the wellhead is then excavated, and the wellhead and casing are cut off, a cap is welded in place and then buried. Not only in the USA these kind of large concentrations of oil wells can be found. Here near Lagunillas in Venezuela for example a large concentration of offshore wells can be found:

Here in Baky the capital city of Azerbeidzjan which is an important oil city this oil derrick field is situated:

At the beginning of the 20th century this city looked very futuristic with all the oil derricks together. The derricks were very close to each other, making the risk of fire eminent ( these things were made of wood ), and the noise level horrendous:


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sea salt ponds

Sea salt production:
The manufacture and use of salt is one of the oldest chemical industries. Today, most refined salt is prepared from rock salt. But salt is also obtained by evaporation of sea water, usually in shallow basins warmed by sunlight. Salt so obtained was formerly called bay salt, and is now often called sea salt, solar salt, or marine salt. China and India are the top producers of this kind of salt.
The largest and most famous sea salt production "facilities" in the world find it location in China near the cities of Tanggu and Hangu. The total annual production of the Salt Fields at Tanggu and Hangu Salt Works have achieved 2.5 million metric tons of high-quality salt, taking up a quarter of the whole sea salt output in China:

In this Salt District, there are two famous large sea salt manufacturing enterprises—Tianjin Changlu Haijing Group Co., Ltd. and Tianjin Changlu Hangu Saltern Co., Ltd. It possesses salt field with 325 square kilometers.

In India, the second biggest producer of marine sea salt in the world, large salt fields can be found south of the city of Chennai. For example
this one near the town of Kannagapattu, and here near Poonjeri. Another center of sea salt production in India is in the West Indian province of Gujarat. For example here near Ambawadi, and here near Gandhidham.

One of the biggest sea salt fields in europe is found near the town of Salin de Giraud in south France:

Near the salt fields ,where the salt is stored, mountains of salt can be seen:

Further to the west is another major sea salt producing facility in Europe. This one is near the town of Aigues-Mortes in France:

In the rest of the world huge sea salt fields can be found here at the northern coast of the province Rio Grande Norte in Brazil:

Here near the city of Alexandria in Egypt, and here in the Bay of San Francisco in the USA. In the picture below the red color of these salt ponds can be seen from the air:

If you wonder why these sea salt pools sometimes have a red color like in the picture above that's due to the development of microscopic algae.
This one in Karachi in Pakistan for example also has this red color.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Germany's coal mines

Germany's coal mines:
Germany is a country which always depended highly on coal for producing elektricity. Most of all because Germany had huge coal fields especially in the province of Nordrein Westfalen, and East Germany near the border with Poland. In the last 20 years this dependence of coal highly reduced but Germany still has very impressive coal fields left with most of the time huge coal power plants next to it. This wasteland for example is the Boxberg coal mine in East germany:

The impressive 1200 MW coal power plant is standing next to it:

Further north west of the Boxberg coal mine is the mine of Welzow Sud. One of the biggest coal mines in Europe. In this mine in East Germany that is now closed you can even see an F60 excavator which is the biggest movable tool in the world:

A very impressive mine in East Germany is the coal mine near Breisnig. This coal field stretches for almost 6 kilometers:

The giant F60 excavators can be seen at work here:

Most of the coal mined here is going to the Powerplant of Janschwalde not far from the mine:

In west germany even bigger coal mines can be found. This coal mine near Garzweiler has 3 huge cole power plants near it. The closest to the mine is the The coal power plant near Frimmersdorf:

Not far from here the coal power plant of Neurath can be found:

And the power plant of Niederausem is close to the mine either: All of these coal power plants depend highly on the coal mined from the Garzweiler mine.


Parking garages

The west edmonton mall has the largest parking lot in the world. It has 20.000 spaces for cars.The garages that surround this mall are 3 level or 2 level in most places. Although they don't form one single garage this parking lot is still in the guiness book of records for being the largest parking lot in the world. Seattle Tacoma international airport has the second largest parking lot worldwide (birdview). This seven story parking garage also holds the title for the largest single-roof parking structure in the U.S. There are 13.000 spaces available here. You can see this parking garage quite good in google maps street view:

Grotere kaart weergeven

Another airport in the U.S has
the third largest parking lot in the world (birdview). This one is on the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and has 11.500 places. One of the 10-level and 500 meters long structure's unique features is an enclosed moving walkway that takes passengers directly to the airport terminal. The fourth largest is a parking garage on the terrain of Universal studio's in Orlando in Florida. The South facility with 10.200 places is the largest of Universal Studio's two mammoth parking garages, but not by much. Its neighbor, the North facility, holds a little over 9,200 cars and is designed to hold an additional story, which would bring its capacity to nearly 11,000 spaces. Together, they make up one of the largest parking complexes in the world.

The Disneyland theme park Mickey and Friends holds the 5th largest parking garage in the world with 10.000 places. It was one of the first garages with over 10,000 spaces. At the time of its completion in 2000, it was the largest parking structure in the U.S. The extensive ramp network allows 3,600 cars per hour, each with direct access to the highway, so there's no winding endlessly around a tight helix when it's time to leave.

O'Hare's parking garage on Chicago O'hare's airport may not be the largest anymore with 9266 places, but it's certainly one of the oldest (birdview). The five-story garage was built in the early 1970s, preceding the mega-trend by decades. In fact, many of today's big parking garages are modeled after the O'Hare structure. The Toronto airport's new glossy Terminal 1 has an eight-story parking garage which is the seventh largets in the world and has 9.000 places.


Ship locks

Ship locks:
The tree Gorges dam in china has the biggest ship lock in the world in terms of size. There are 2 giant ship locks in this dam each composed of 5 ladders. These locks fill water about 30 meters deep in a couple of minutes, and in total it takes ships 4 hours to get trough. The pipes used to inject and release water can let a truck pass trough.

Ship's approaching the locks to get 160 meters higher:

The locks during the construction:

When talking about the size of 1 lock on it's own the Berendrecht lock in the harbour of Antwerp is the biggest in the world. It drop's only 13.5 meters but has a size of 500 meter long and 68 meters wide. Even really big container and oil ships can pass this way:

The Oskemen lock bypassing a hydro-electric dam on the River Ertis in Kazakhstan has the deepest single lock in the world. This one handles a height difference of 42 meters with one single lock. A famous canal passage, the Panama Cannel in Panama, has 3 huge locks. None of the them is the biggest in the world but all three together they make one of the biggets ship lock projects ever constructed. When you enter this channel from north to south you will first enter the Gatun lock, which is the biggest of the three locks in the Panama channel. A lot of cruise ships form the US enter the channel here:

When you go further south the ships enter the Pidro miguel locks, and 1.6 miles south of this lock they enter the Miraflores locks which is the gate to the pacific ocean:

A very special lock passage can be found in Caen hill in England. In the ´Kennet and Avond Canal´ 29 locks can be found in a distance of only 3.2 km for small recreation boats. The total rise is 72m. The locks come in three groups. The lower seven locks, Foxhangers Wharf Lock to Foxhangers Bridge Lock, are spread over 1.2km. The next sixteen locks form a steep flight in a straight line up the hillside. Because of the steepness of the terrain, the pounds between these locks are very short:


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Paper and Pulp mills

The paper production:
In principle, the process of making paper is simple. Wood chips are converted to pulp which in turn is processed to create paper, cardboard and a range of other products. In reality, the processes are a complex mix of chemical and physical reactions which take place in both batch and continuous mode. The capital cost of the plant is high, skilled operators are required and the potential for environmental degradation throughout the value chain is huge.

World demand for paper and paperboard is forecast to grow from the current 300 million tons to over 420 million tons by the year 2010 or an average growth rate of 2.8% per annum. The world’s major pulp and paper producers are: North America (USA and Canada), South America (Brazil, Chile and Argentina), Europe (particularly Scandinavia ), Asia ad the CIS. The combined share of North America and Western Europe of global paper and paperboard production has declined since 1980 from about 67% to 62% while the combined production of Latin America and Asia (excluding Japan) has increased from about 11% to 22%. This trend is expected to continue, with the focus of production growth gradually shifting closer to the regions of faster paper consumption growth.

The world biggest paper and pulp mills:

One of the biggest paper and pulp mills in the world is situated near fray Bentos in Uruguay. This pulp and paper mill is from the Finnish paper company of Botnia ( second largest producer of paper in the world ). The facility is producing 1 million tonnes of bleached short-fibre eucalyptus pulp per year:

The wood is coming from the deep-water port of Nueva Palmira, and from a terminal further to the east of the factory. The pulp in the factory itself is also exported with the use of this harbour:
Port of Nueva Palmira:

Terminal Logística M'Bopicuá:

The eucalyptus trees this facility is using:

An even bigger one is near Pangkalan Kerinci in the Riau Province on Sumatra in Indonesia. This paper and pulp mill which is called; APRIL Indonesia, is situated on a 1,750 hectare site. APRIL operations include pulp and paper mills, an integrated chemical plant, and a power plant that generates all the energy for the complex, mostly from bio-fuel. The Kraft pulp mill is the biggest single-site pulp mill in the world with a capacity of 2 million tons per year:

Other huge Pulp and paper mills can be found in North America, Scandinavia, China, and Russia. For example this one in Ashdown Arkansas, USA is the largest integrated manufacturer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America and the second largest in the world based on production capacity. Domtar Ashdown employs 1,100 people and its operations include four paper machines and two pulp lines. In Europe the biggest one is this pulp and paper mill in the city of Koryazhma in Russia. The rated capacity of the Koryazhma Branch is 938,000 tons of pulp and 255,000 tons of containerboard per year. Due to the upgrade the Mill's annual pulp production has been exceeding 1 million tons every year since 2005:

Other big ones in Europe can be found in Finland. 3/4 of the total land area of Finland is wood, and so the producing of paper is the biggest industry here. This facility from UPM ( One of the world biggest producer of paper ) in Kaukas in finland is among the biggest mills in the world:

Another big paper and pulp mill is found in ulst-Ilimsk. This mill accounts for approximately 30% of market pulp production in Russia. The Mill exports up to 90% of its total output of bleached pulp to Europe and Asia. There are some kind of giant saw machines on the complex here.
Although I do not know exactly what it is It loo's like the wood is cut to pieces there.

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