- Two-stage desalination system reaching 68% SWRO recovery with an energy consumption of 4 kWh/m3.
- The system concentrates NF-preconditioned seawater to 100,000 mg/L and produces high-quality permeate.
- Installed in collaboration with Saudi Arabia's SWCC (Saline Water Conversion Corporation) and DTRI (Desalination Technology & Research Institute) as part of a pioneering brine mining pilot.
About the project:
Saudi Arabia's Desalination Technology & Research Institute (DTRI), an R&D organization affiliated with the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), is exploring how new technologies can extract precious minerals from the sea. DTRI plans to deliver 2 million tons per year of sodium chloride for the country's oil & gas industry. This will reduce reliance on environmentally harmful mining operations, and improve Saudi Arabia's self-sufficiency as part of the country's Vision 2030 roadmap.
FEDCO is working closely with SWCC and DTRI to develop sustainable and economical membrane-based solutions for brine mining applications, exemplified by the installation of the first ultra-high pressure SWRO array to use FEDCO's patented BiTurboTM technology at DTRI's pilot site in Jubail.
The BiTurboTM system treats 40 m3/hr of NF-preconditioned seawater with an exceptionally high recovery rate of 68%. Maximizing SWRO recovery reduces the size of the downstream membrane brine concentrator, improving the economic viability of the brine mining operation.
Ultra-high pressure SWRO unit installed at DTRI's Jubail pilot site. The system is compact, fitting into a single container at the site (left). The feed and interstage turbochargers are installed together (right), with the interstage booster contained within a steel housing.
About DTRI's brine mining pilot:
DTRI's brine mining operation will feature four treatment stages: nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, membrane brine concentration, and crystallization.Nanofiltration
- Pretreated seawater is conditioned using nanofiltration to remove sparingly soluble salts and produce a magnesium-rich brine. Magnesium is a highly valuable metal with applications in the pharmaceutical industry and beyond.
- NF preconditioning allows for extremely high SWRO recovery rates due to the low scaling potential of the remaining salts in the feed solution.
- The NF system operates at approximately 80% recovery, producing 40 m3/hr of permeate with 48,000 mg/L total dissolved solids.
- Nanofiltration permeate is fed to a two-stage seawater reverse osmosis system, operating at 68% recovery to deliver a 100,000 mg/L brine.
- This design uses FEDCO's BiTurboTM SWRO design. The first-stage feed is pressurized to 60 bar, meaning that conventional RO pumps, pressure vessels, membranes and couplings meet the required pressure rating.
- An HPB-Ultra turbocharger provides an interstage boost, pressurizing the first-stage reject to 100 bar. Ultra-high-pressure membranes, pressure vessels and couplings are used in this stage to handle such high operating pressures.
Membrane brine concentration and crystallization
- Reject from the SWRO system enters a membrane brine concentrator system. This is a cascading membrane system using brine recirculation to reach a concentration of 225,000 mg/L.
- At the final stage, the concentrated brine will enter a series of crystallization and separation processes for further refining into usable products.
Find out more:
Our RO expertise can help you improve membrane performance and recovery using our patented BiTurboTM technology. Our product range covers systems of any size, from containerized RO units to mega-scale SWRO.
Contact our sales team to learn more about working with FEDCO on your next new-build or retrofit reverse osmosis project.
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