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Concentrate Volume Minimization for Impaired Water Treatment with Reverse Osmosis

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Concentrate minimization is critical to future success and development of desalination technology for both wastewater reuse and drinking water applications. The overall objective of this work was to advance desalination by developing an innovative approach for concentrate minimization. The approach comprises a dual membrane system constituting a primary desalting step with reverse osmosis (RO), intermediate chemical precipitation of RO concentrate, and subsequent treatment with electrodialysis (ED) and/or electrodialysis reversal (EDR) stages. Results indicate that chemical precipitation can reduce sparingly soluble ions of concern in RO concentrate such that subsequent ED/EDR can recover approximately an additional 80 percent of water. For a RO system operating at a recovery of about 80 percent, this would result in an overall recovery of about 95 percent. Conceptual cost estimates indicate that the innovative configuration is cost-competitive, and has likely cost advantages compared to alternative concentrate minimization schemes including brine concentrator or zero-liquid-discharge.
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Keywords: Reverse osmosis; brine; concentrate management; concentrate minimization; desalination; zeroliquid-discharge

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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