Seawater and brackish desalination have the potential to supplement dwindling freshwater supplies, but not without its own challenges. In terms of negative desalination externalities, energy consumption and the disposal of concentrated brine are leading concerns for the environmental and fiscal sustainability of the industry. While efficiency improvements and renewable energy can help alleviate these issues to some extent, both reverse osmosis and electrodialysis reversal still face long-term operational problems that hinder desalination. Our END® Technology overcomes these challenges.
Key Desalination Challenges:
1. Membrane Fouling:
Over time, the surface of each membrane accumulates and adsorbs organic and inorganic particles. In its various forms – biofouling, organic fouling, and scaling – fouling poses a huge threat to the effectiveness of membrane-based desalination methods, especially reverse osmosis and electrodialysis reversal. The following impacts too can arise from membrane fouling.
- Decreased capacity to capture pollutants in the membrane
- Decreased membrane pressure
- Degradation of the membrane and other system components.
- Increased operation costs from membrane pretreatments, energy, maintenance, and replacing membranes.
- The annual cost of combatting biofouling in the desalination industry is estimated at 15 billion dollars.
Together, these results pose consequences for water quality and overall productivity in the desalination process. Reductions in the membrane lifespan and water recovery have serious implications for a plant’s sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
2. Membrane Cleaning & Maintenance:
Due to membrane fouling, cleaning and maintenance are necessary to keep desalination systems operating at or near optimal efficiency. Such efforts can produce a number of increased costs and concerns as well.
- Chemical cleaning can degrade and shorten the membrane’s lifespan.
- The recommended cleaning frequency of every three months is costly and disruptive to operations.
- Some cleaning methods are not adept at removing scalants from membrane surfaces or pores. Applying anti-scalant can reduce the membrane’s surface tension and require implementing additional filtering to capture the crystals formed during the softening process.
- Membranes become solid waste products that must be replaced and disposed of when they can no longer be cleaned.
These adverse effects are costly in terms of reduced freshwater output and added energy and material inputs.
Desalination Challenges: How is END® Technology Different?
The advent of Electrochemical Nano Diffusion (END®) processes by Magna Imperio Systems Corp. represents a breakthrough for bringing greater resiliency, energy savings, and water recovery to the desalination process at various scales and applications. END® technology revolutionizes the conventional electrodialysis reversal process through a novel system of ion-selective membranes, dissimilar anode/cathode materials, and spacers. This advancement brings notable environmental, societal, and financial benefits to the desalination process.
END® is a Sustainable Solution
Ultimately, desalination sustainability is a question of maximizing water recovery while minimizing energy usage and pollution. Employing electrochemical separation of dissolved salts in place of intensive, pressure-driven processes brings superior efficiency, ensuring that clean water doesn’t come at the cost of environmental degradation. Here’s END® systems’ environmental footprint by the numbers:
- Clean water recovery rates can reach higher than 99%, reducing water consumption and wastewater output.
- END® systems can carry up to 60% energy savings compared to traditional treatment methods, such as reverse osmosis and electrodialysis reversal.
- Highly concentrated brine means there is less waste by volume.
- The zero-liquid discharge (ZLD) method uses an evaporation process to convert brine into a dry solid that can then be repurposed or sold as raw material.
END® is Low Maintenance
Automated self-cleaning procedures for END® systems utilize electric field reversal to curb membrane fouling while cutting labor and upkeep costs, not to mention the logistical ease of self-regulating maintenance. Additionally, the low-pressure system has greater longevity due to reduced strain on the equipment compared to standard methods. Altogether, this will help recuperate your investment sooner and keep operation costs low for the long term.
END® is Scalable and Easily Deployed
Individual END® cells are compact and lightweight at 6 in. x 12 in. and 30 lbs. The modular design allows for easy customization to specific demand and dimensional requirements. A total of three standard modularized sizes are readily available for quick deployment and installation for pressing water treatment needs.
- 25,000 gallons per day (GPD): 4 ft. x 4 ft. pallet
- 150,000 GPD: 20-foot Conex box
- 500,000 GPD in a 40-foot Conex box
These standard systems can be integrated to further customize END® solutions up to 100,000,000 GPD units in size. Magna Imperio Solutions has adapted END® systems for a diversity of clientele, including a Sonoma winery, a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Southern California, and the oil and gas industry. Furthermore, the container-equipped systems are ideal for transportation to remote sites, such as rural inland communities and offshore locations where desalination wouldn’t otherwise be feasible or cost-effective. This is incredibly necessary to solve rapid water crises in a world with increasing drought, changes to precipitation, and extreme weather events.
Want to Learn More?
The applicability of END® systems is not bound by geography, industry, or scope. Contact us at email@example.com to find a sustainable, cost-effective solution to your water treatment needs that works for you.