MPP Systems, a subsidiary of Veolia Water Technologies, has developed the Macro Porous Polymer Extraction (MPPE®), a highly effective, fully automated, remote controlled and guaranteed method for removing dissolved and dispersed hydrocarbons from water in one step, with efficiencies of 99.99% down to below ppb level, or as specified. This process applies to different types of hydrocarbons, including aliphatic, aromatic, polyaromatic, halogenated, such as chlorinated and bromated.

A highly effective technology for removing dissolved and dispersed hydrocarbons in one-step


A MPPE unit consists of two columns — one in extraction mode, the other in regeneration mode — containing packed porous polymer beads. These miniscule plastic spheres contain an immobilized extraction fluid that enables the removal of hydrocarbons from the feed water.

They act as a carrier for a nontoxic and biodegradable extraction medium that absorbs and extracts hydrocarbons from water. The porous polymer particles are capable of reducing contaminant concentrations in water by a factor of more than one million, which means that concentrations of thousands parts per million (ppm) can be lowered to below one part per billion (ppb). This is done in only one cycle. 

Aside from clean water for recycling or discharging, the water purification unit also yields almost 100% pure hydrocarbons suitable for reuse.

How MPPE works

In the MPPE process, hydrocarbon-contaminated water is passed through the column packed with MPPE particles containing a specific extraction liquid immobilized in its pores. Then only the hydrocarbons with an affinity for the immobilized extraction liquid are removed from the water. The purified water can either be reused or discharged. 

Periodical in situ regeneration of the extraction liquid is accomplished by heating the hydrocarbons with low-pressure steam. The steam and released hydrocarbons are condensed and then separated from the water phase by gravity. The almost 100% pure hydrocarbon phase is recovered, removed from the system and ready for use/reuse or disposal. The condensed aqueous phase is recycled within the system. 

The application of two columns allows continuous operation with simultaneous extraction and regeneration. A typical cycle is one hour of extraction and one hour of regeneration.

With over 100 years’ accumulated worldwide experience, MPPE is a proven technology that has been applied in over 50 references across various industries.

MPPE systems are used for:

Offshore and onshore gas produced water
Regulations for produced water, both onshore and offshore, are becoming more and more stringent. New technologies are required for this challenging segment in order to meet future emission standards that are being set by international organizations.
In this context, MPPE has not only been proven to remove hydrocarbons from gas produced water, but also significantly lower the emission of mercury (Hg) to the environment.

Groundwater remediation
Aromatic, polyaromatic and halogenated hydrocarbons in groundwater can be found in lower concentrations dissolved in water diffused over the area or concentrated as dense non-aqueous-phase liquids (DNAPLs) or light no-aqueous-phase liquids (LNAPs), creating an enduring source of contaminant supply to the water phase. 

Wastewater from (petro) chemical sites
Within the petrochemical industry various waste streams are creating upsets of the existing biological treatment due to presence of high concentrations of non-biodegradable and sometimes even toxic components. Dedicated treatment of these streams secures the performance of  the biotreater and isolates the toxic hydrocarbons in concentrated form. 

More than 30 solvents are regularly used in this industry, including non-polar types like toluene and chlorinated solvents. These can be efficiently removed by MPPE. A good example is the removal from toluene from a process stream generated in a typical production process. Other, more polar solvents, like acetone, are removed efficiently by means of MPPS.

Features and benefits

Very high separation performance with reduction factor 1,000,000 times, equal to 99.9999% removal if required.

Compact with a small footprint compared to existing technologies.

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Robust: no scaling and no interference by constituents like dissolved iron, heavy metals, salt and polar compounds.

Low energy consumption with steam usage up to 50 times lower than steam stripping.

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Easy, reliable and flexible operation: once installed, the fully automated unit can be controlled remotely and with a turndown to 10% of the design capacity, the flow can be adjusted as per client's preference.


Technologies, services and process expertise to meet environmental requirements, remove contaminants and transform wastewater into a resource.
High quality water systems for production, process and manufacturing uses.
Produced water treatment for oil and gas exploration.
A full range of technologies ensuring high performance groundwater treatment and groundwater remediation.


Rental assets to support and assist your site operations for temporary and longer-term water treatment needs 24/7.
We provide a wide range of services to existing facilities including technical support, pre-planned preventive maintenance, spare parts, etc.


The growing awareness and demand of corporate social responsibility means there is an increased focus on the correct management of waste streams that are relatively hazardous, as is the case with hydrocarbons. Typically, such waste streams are treated using distillation, biotreatment or activated carbon. These approaches are very energy-intensive, can consume chemicals and/or create waste. MPPE is proven to be a highly effective technology for removing dissolved and dispersed hydrocarbons from wastewater and recovering the hydrocarbons in almost pure form.

Jeroen Boom picture

Jeroen Boom

Sales Director, MPP and TiPSS technologies


FAQ about Macro Porous Polymer Extraction (MPPE)

What is Macro Porous Polymer Extraction?

An innovative and optimized way of removing dispersed and dissolved hydrocarbons using extraction media. Following the loading of hydrocarbons on the media, the media is  regenerated by low pressure steam, whereby the hydrocarbons come available as pure components.

Are hydrocarbons like benzene and toluene in wastewater bad for the environment?

Yes, because some of these components are carcinogenic and have the tendency to accumulate in the food chain in marine life.

How can hydrocarbons be removed from water?

Various technologies are available but MPPE is one of the few, if not the only one, that removes these toxic components with a very high efficiency and returns these in pure form to be added to, for instance, the fuel production.