Toray’s ROMEMBRA™ RO and TORAYFIL™ UF membrane technologies have been selected for a new seawater desalination facility in Brazil, which is set to become the largest in the country. ArcelorMittal (brasil.arcelormittal.com), currently the largest producer of steel in the world, contracted Fluence Corporation (fluencecorp.com) for the design, engineering, and construction contract through an international tender process. Expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2020, the plant will have an initial capacity to treat 12,000 m3/day, expandable to 24,000 and 36,000 m3/day, and with an estimated value of US$10 million dollars.
TORAYFIL™ pressurized PVDF hollow-fiber UF membrane modules will pretreat the seawater before feeding the ROMEMBRA™ seawater desalination membrane elements for removal of salts. The desalinated seawater will also pass through ROMEMBRA™ durable ‘D-Family’ brackish water RO membrane elements for additional polishing before it is stored for distribution.
The principal objective of the plant is to decentralize the steel manufacturer’s reliance on the state’s water supply and contribute to water security to surrounding communities that rely on the same freshwater source.
ArcelorMittal’s Research and Development Center conducted extensive implementation studies by evaluating “today’s best technologies and suppliers in the world.” According to ArcelorMittal, the desalination plant will be the first in Brazil to operate exclusively with seawater, placing the facility at the forefront of sustainable water management for the company. Furthermore, the energy required for the desalination process will be produced by a thermoelectric power station located within the power, further contributing to the sustainability factor.