IDE Water Technologies, a leading global provider of water treatment solutions, announced that it is running a demo of its brine minimization technology, MAXH2O DESALTER, for a North American mining company. In the pilot, MAXH2O DESALTER is tested with different mine-impacted effluents containing high sulfate concentration, designed for the production of 600 liters of treated permeate per day. The demo has been built to simulate the process conditions of a full-scale unit, and in every cycle so far, approximately 90 percent water recovery was achieved.
The major challenge of mine-impacted effluents is supersaturation with respect to calcium sulfate, as well as the presence of metals, organic material and high biofouling potential, which prevents a conventional reverse osmosis (RO) system from reaching high recovery. With the MAXH2O DESALTER, the integrated salt precipitation and removal unit only removes the salts that can limit the desalination process recovery. Salts removal is performed using a “precipitation reactor” and a minimal addition of chemicals. The removal process residuals are “scaling pellets” of more than 90 percent dry solids content, which do not require further sludge dewatering treatment.
In addition to common sparingly soluble salts - such as calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate - other salts/ions were also removed in the salt precipitation unit, including barium, manganese, iron, nickel and strontium. The demo treats feed wastewater stream with a calcium and sulfate content of about 70 percent total dissolved solids (TDS), and after further investigation of the results, it has been shown that, under different configurations of the system, the total achievable recovery could reach a total of 99 percent.
These results further showcase the versatility of the MAXH2O DESALTER to remove numerous low-solubility salts from effluent feed stream, and its prominent position compared to other RO-based solutions, as a highly efficient minimum liquid discharge (MLD) system.
“Our MAXH2O DESALTER is a game-changer for industrial effluents, as it successfully overcomes the numerous challenges of increasing recovery using reverse osmosis,” said Alon Tavor, CEO of IDE Water Technologies. “These results indicate the flexibility of this technology, positioning it as a key solution in increasing RO recovery even further by using different systems configurations. Our research and clients’ feedback prove the clear added value of this technology, dealing with challenging mining effluents and other industrial water treatment needs, in a cost-effective and efficient way.”