Seawater Brine Recycling

ZERO-DISCHARGE RECYCLING, our scientifically-proven ecological profitable solution to the worldwide seawater desalination problem of harmful waste brines resulting from the seawater desalination process

I.E.S. developed a new technology of zero-discharge complex recycling of the concentrated brine resulting from any seawater desalination process. The technology allows the recycling of brines with receiving high-quality drinking water and valuable minerals, such as table salt, magnesium chloride, magnesium-sulphate, potassium chloride, gypsum and other more valuable minerals such as lithium. We have successfully developed and tested units showing all the mentioned steps and aspects of our technology.

Our technology does not require any chemical adding and is totally safe, ecological for the environment. It is also profitable because the salt and minerals received during the recycling process are in commercial quantities. Our technology can be attached to any existing desalination plant and can operate with any desalination plant capacity.

All the seawater desalination technologies which are used nowadays (using the methods of the reverse osmosis, thermal distillation, electrodialysis, their combination or others) are very needed technologies for the human civilization, unfortunately they are not environmentally friendly and produce harmful brine discharges with salt contents of about 50-60 g/l, which are thrown in the coastal areas, gradually killing the natural maritime faunae and flora and causing other serious environmental hazards. Such brines are waste products, because there is no economic use of them. On the contrary, seawater brines with salts’ concentration more than 150 g/l are a valuable raw-material, suitable for their processing into salts’ products. However, with the existing desalination methods alone it is impossible to receive brines with such a high concentration level because of the “calcium barrier” . The problem is that in the seawater there are large amounts of calcium salts, which simply form sediment if the concentration of the brine in the desalination plant is higher than 65 g/l.

The I.E.S technology of complex recycling of brines provides the solution to this problem.

The key element of our Technology is the Self-Sustaining Process of deep decalcination (softening) of the brines. The Self-Sustaining Process of deep softening is performed in a cycle regime – while one group of columns with sorbents works in the regime of calcium sorption, the saturated sorbent from the second column group is regenerating and vice-versa. The sorbents are produced in such a manner that concentrated natrium chloride brine obtained in the result of desalination is enough for the recovery of their sorption capacity, i.e. the process does not require any chemical reagents or any energy input . After such a unique pre-treatment, the brines are passed to the thermal distillation unit, thus we receive separately the drinking water and the highly concentrated (180 g/l TDS) tail brines. The highly concentrated brines are passed further again through the self-sustaining system and become ready for recovery of valuable mineral by-products (such as gypsum, high-purity table salt, magnesium-potassium liquid concentrates), the final process takes place in the crystallization chamber to receive dry products. The whole process is automatic.

Our complex technology of recycling the seawater brines resulting from desalination is doubling the output of drinking water from any existing desalination plant to which our system is attached; secondly, it allows receiving the valuable raw-materials of the same quality as that of the unique natural brines on which the chemical industry of obtaining mineral salts is based. Our technology represents a revolutionary new ecological – economical approach to make all the traditional seawater desalination industry totally ecological, since it does not produce any liquid discharge into the sea. The attaching of our recycling technology to any existing desalination plant makes it a “Two-in-One” unit, providing the doubling of drinking water production and the receiving of valuable dry minerals in commercial quantities.

We are proud to introduce and provide our recycling solution to the desalination industry era.

Here is an example to understand better our recycling technology. (Please note, this is just an example, our recycling technology can be attached to any technology of seawater desalination and to any plant capacity without any limitation.)

If we attach our seawater brine recycling technology to a small already existing RO plant with a capacity of producing 528 cubic meter of drinking water per day (that is 22 m3/h) that throws back to the sea 960 cubic meter of harmful concentrated waste brines per day (that is 40 m3/h), the following benefits are obtained:

- this plant is transformed into a zero-discharge ecological plant , i.e. no discharge of any harmful pollutant is thrown back to the sea;

- drinking water output is more than double:

528 cubic meters per day of drinking water is coming from the RO desalination plant

600 cubic meters per day of drinking water is coming from our attached recycling system

Total: 1128 cubic meters per day – output of drinking water from both systems

  • commercial amounts of high-purity table salt and other valuable minerals are extracted :2160 kg/day of Gypsum, 50400 kg/day of Table salt and 10080 kg/day of Magnesium – Potassium concentrate, nevertheless some other combinations and arrangements for receiving other minerals can be also successfully achieved.

This is illustrated in the following flowchart:

Click on the image to enlarge

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