April 2011


McIlvaine Company





NanoH2O Bolsters Execs

Stover Joins Desalitech to Launch Closed-circuit Desalination

ITT Names Senior Post Spin-off Management


BASF Signs Agreement with inge watertechnologies AG

Aquatech Bags Desalination Project for Thermal Power Facility in TN

Marin Municipal Water District wins Court Ruling on Seawater Desalination Plant

Energy Recovery Inc (ERII) Posts Large Volume Increase, Hits $2.86

Energy Recovery Inc Expands Leadership in Spain with Mega-Desalination Plant

Italian Fertilizer Maker Extends Water Treatment Outsourcing Agreement with GE

Aquatech to Build SBR/UF/RO Reuse Plant for Mumbai Airport


Britain Unveils Desalination Plant for London Reservoirs

Veolia Water to Build Produced-Water Plant in California Oilfield

Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System to be Expanded

Parsons Leads Design-Build Expansion of El Segundo Water Plant

Inside the $3.5 Billion Victorian Desalination Project

Aguas Antofagasta to Begin US$120 Million Desalination Plant


Koch Membrane Systems to Launch New Hollow Fiber Ultrafiltration System at Ace11

High Recovery Reverse Osmosis for Treatment of Produced Water

Desalitech Ltd Awarded Contract from EPT

Nanomesh Straw Turns Sewage into Drinkable Water

Beijing Sinen En-tech’s Patented System Recycles Steam

Applying a New Technology for Protecting Membranes from Scaling Increases RO Yield



Many projects are detailed in monthly updates under Industry Analysis in this Report’s Chapters. Click on the links below to view information on these projects.





Huge pump expenditures are forecast for flue gas desulfurization systems in the U.S. and China. The specific reports are available separately in Fossil and Nuclear Power Generation World Analysis and Forecast and in Utility Environmental Upgrade Tracking System. CLICK HERE to view information on these projects.





NanoH2O Bolsters Execs

Los Angeles-based NanoH2O, the clean technology startup developing reverse osmosis membranes for water desalination, announced this morning that it has hired Randy Truber as Director of Global Sales Strategies. The firm, which is headed by technology vet Jeff Green, and based on research out of UCLA, said that Truby will bolster its commercial team. Truby joins the firm from Toray Membranes USA, and also has served at Fluid Systems and Hydranautics. NanoH2O is venture backed by Khosla Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, Rusheen Capital Partners, and PCG Energy and Technology Fund.


Stover Joins Desalitech to Launch Closed-circuit Desalination

Desalitech, a company that develops reverse osmosis desalination, has announced that Richard L. Stover, Ph.D., joined the company as executive vice president.


Previously Stover was chief technical officer and senior vice president of marketing for Energy Recovery, Inc. There he was responsible for technical and commercial development of the ERI Pressure Exchanger energy recovery device and helped lead the company’s successful IPO. He also previously served as Vice President of Oasys Water where he developed forward osmosis systems.


Stover will lead the new company’s business development, product launch, and commercialization efforts. Desalitech, based in Tel Aviv, is developing and commercializing proprietary desalination technologies to address the growing global water crisis.


ITT Names Senior Post Spin-off Management

Mike Speetzen and Frank Jimenez are to become chief financial officer and general counsel respectively of the new water company that will be formed later this year with ITT Corp’s spin off its defence and water businesses.


Speetzen is currently vice president of finance for ITT’s Fluid and Motion Control business, while Jimenez is vice president and general counsel for ITT Corp.


As previously announced, Gretchen McClain, currently president of ITT Fluid and Motion Control, will serve as the water technology business’s future CEO. Steve Loranger, currently chairman, president and CEO of ITT Corp, will be the water business’s executive chairman of the board.


“Our ability to make these decisions early in the separation planning process is truly a testament to the strength of our existing management bench and legacy of leadership development at ITT, and we are pleased to mark this milestone in the process of establishing three attractive new companies by the end of the year,” said Loranger.




BASF Signs Agreement with inge watertechnologies AG

Headquartered in Greifenberg, Germany, inge watertechnologies employs about 85 people and specializes in ultrafiltration technology used in the treatment of drinking water, process water, wastewater and sea water. The inge watertechnologies product range includes highly-efficient ultrafiltration modules and rack designs.


“By entering the water treatment membranes business we are convinced that we can develop unique combinations of membrane and chemical technologies based on BASF’s polymer research and water treatment application know-how,” said Hans Reiners, president of the BASF Performance Chemicals division. “At inge watertechnologies we are pleased to join a global player like BASF with its innovative strength, its worldwide customer base and its financial power. This will open up new areas for innovation and broaden our market reach,” said company CEO Bruno Steis.


Aquatech Bags Desalination Project for Thermal Power Facility in TN

Aquatech has been awarded a contract to design, engineer, fabricate and build a 13,000 m3/day seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) based desalination plant for Coastal Energen Pvt. Ltd. (CEPL). Coastal Energen, the power generating flagship company of the Coal and Oil Group, is setting up a 1200 MW coal fired thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu, India.


Coal and Oil Group is an integrated energy company involved in various aspects of energy supplies including coal trading, mining, shipping, logistics and power generation.


In addition to seawater desalination, Aquatech is providing a complete water and wastewater solution for the facility, including a high purity water system, electro chlorination, and effluent treatment plant.  It is a total turnkey package also including pilot trials for the seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) pretreatment and civil & building work.


“The 2 x 600 MW Mutiara Power Plant being developed at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu has special architectural features. Several environment friendly measures have also been adopted to make it a reference power project.” said the Managing Director, Coastal Energen, Mr. S.M Zafrulla.


“Aquatech has been awarded this order under stiff competition. The basis for selection of Aquatech as an associate for this project has been the recent commissioning of a desalination plant for India’s first UMPP, and also various important installations supplied and commissioned worldwide”, he added.


Aquatech Vice President Sachin Kukade said, “Significant power generation capacity is being added to address our country’s energy deficit, and many projects are coming up in the coastal region where the desalination of seawater is the only solution to meet the fresh water requirements.


Aquatech is at the forefront of providing desalination solutions to some of the leading power generation companies in the country. This most recent desalination project for Coastal Energen is an important and prestigious addition to the list of our coveted customers. Coastal Energen is building a truly ‘world class’ power generating facility and we are very proud to be their partners for their ambitious maiden venture


Marin Municipal Water District wins Court Ruling on Seawater Desalination Plant

Marin Municipal Water District (MMW) wins one court ruling, but a further court case challenging the California water district's environmental impact report (EIR) for the 5-15 MGD (19,000-57,000 m³/d) reverse osmosis plant will start later in April.


The March ruling rejected a contention by opponents of the project that a measure chosen by voters last November barred the MMWD from continuing with the project. The measure allows planning to proceed, but requires voter approval before the district can authorize actual construction or financing of a desalination plant.


"It's a telling decision on the part of the judge," Paul Helliker, MMWD general manager, told the Marin Independent Journal. "It would be good to have this whole issue behind us."


But residents worried that the desalination plant will lead to a population increase of up to 85,000 in Marin launched a lawsuit in 2009 against the EIR seeking an injunction to halt progress on the proposed desalination project and to "protect the San Francisco Bay and the citizens of Marin from the harmful effects" of desalination.


The lawsuit alleges the proposed US$ 105 million plant would discharge up to 30 million gallons (113,000 m³) of harmful brine into San Rafael Bay, increase energy consumption by the water district by up to four times and expose the public to potential contamination.


Energy Recovery Inc (ERII) Posts Large Volume Increase, Hits $2.86

Shares of Energy Recovery Inc (ERII) saw unusually high trading volume on Monday. Approximately 498,447 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 46.22% from the previous session.


Separately, analysts at Zacks Investment Research reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Energy Recovery Inc in a research note to investors on Wednesday, April 6th. Also, analysts at Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC) cut their price target on shares of Energy Recovery Inc from $3.50 to $3.00 in a research note to investors on Friday, March 4th.


Energy Recovery, Inc. develops, manufactures and sells high-efficiency energy recovery devices and pumps primarily for use in seawater and brackish water desalination. The Company has one operating segment, the manufacture and sale of high-efficiency energy recovery products and pumps and related parts and services. On December 21, 2009, the Company completed its acquisition of Pump Engineering, LLC, which was renamed Pump Engineering, Inc. (PEI). PEI develops and manufactures energy-recovery devices, known as turbochargers, and efficient high pressure pumps for brackish and seawater reverses osmosis desalination. In November, 2009, with the introduction of the PX-300, the Company released its new series of PX Pressure Exchangertm rotary energy recovery devices for desalination. The Company makes energy recovery devices, high pressure pumps and circulation pumps for use in desalination plants that use reverse osmosis technology.


Energy Recovery Inc Expands Leadership in Spain with Mega-Desalination Plant

Energy Recovery Inc, a leader in the design and development of energy recovery devices for desalination, today announced that its PX Pressure Exchanger (PX) energy recovery devices will be implemented at the Marina Baja-Mutxamel seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant currently under construction near Alicante, Spain. This is the third SWRO mega-plant in Spain within the past year to use ERI PX devices. The Marina Baja-Mutxamel plant will provide approximately 50,000 cubic meters (more than 13 million gallons) of fresh water per day to the region.


ERI will supply PX-260 units to the UTE Marina Baja-Mutxamel desalination plant, helping to provide potable water to residents. Global water treatment company Degrémont selected ERI’s industry-standard PX technology, which greatly reduces energy consumption and overall costs. Once running, the Marina Baja-Mutxamel facility will save an estimated 1,761 kW of energy and offset approximately 9,000 tons of CO2 annually using the PX-260 devices.


ERI has a significant footprint in Spain, supplying its energy-saving technology to a majority of the largest desalination plants in the country. The Marina Baja-Mutxamel follows on the heels of the recently announced Oropesa and Moncofa mega-plants, as well as fully operational plants in Alicante, Barcelona and the Torrevieja facility under construction, among others. In total, ERI is helping produce more than approximately 750,000 cubic meters (198 million gallons) of fresh water per day across the country.


“Our leadership in the energy recovery space is undisputed in Spain, as we help to supply hundreds of thousands of people with affordable, fresh water through desalination,” said Borja Blanco, senior vice president of Energy Recovery Inc. “This is Degrémont’s fourth mega-scale desalination plant using our PX technology, underscoring our customer satisfaction and technical capabilities in the water industry.” Source: Business Wire


Italian Fertilizer Maker Extends Water Treatment Outsourcing Agreement with GE

Yara S.p.A., a unit of fertilizer manufacturer Yara International, has inked an agreement with GE for outsourced industrial water treatment and a facility upgrade at its Ferara, Italy, plant.


The plant in Ferrara supplies ammonia and urea liquids fertilizers to agricultural markets. It relies on a brackish, low-quality water source.


Under the $18 million agreement, GE will continue to build, own and operate the water treatment plant with onsite GE personnel through 2020. The facility currently produces up to 320 m³/hr of demineralized water using two proprietary GE technologies: brackish water reverse osmosis filtration (BWRO) and electrodeionization (EDI).


Commenting on the cost-effectiveness of the arrangement, Ferrara plant manager Frank De Vogelaere said, "We don't have to buy expensive demineralized water from an outside supplier, and we have avoided production losses caused by low-quality water."


GE began working with Yara S.p.A. in 2002 under a supply agreement for water treatment chemicals and related systems, which is ongoing. It has helped Yara avoid boiler shutdowns that occurred with a previous supplier, which were costing Yara a substantial amount per year in lost production.


Also, since 2007, Yara has outsourced to GE its condensate polishing requirements: filtration of condensed water from boiler steam to prevent deposition and corrosions which can damage equipment and lead to energy inefficiencies.


For both the recent Yara upgrade and for the condensate polishing plant, GE is supplying all water treatment equipment, plus engineering and design, pipe work, electrical installation and all other site-related requirements, as well as spare parts and field service representatives for the lives of the agreements.


Aquatech to Build SBR/UF/RO Reuse Plant for Mumbai Airport

A complete turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract for a 10,000 m³/d waste and sewage treatment and recycle project for the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Mumbai, India, has been awarded to Aquatech. Aquatech will also subsequently operate and maintain the facility.


The sewage treatment plant will be based on CASS™ sequential batch reactor technology followed by ultrafiltration and reverse-osmosis. Complete implementation of the plant from design to commissioning will be executed in a 14-month period.


A key challenge for Aquatech is to accommodate the facility within a very limited space available and the completion of the turnkey project within a limited time without disturbing airport operations. The Aquatech team has come up with creative engineering designs in order to accommodate the entire plant in the available space.




Britain Unveils Desalination Plant for London Reservoirs

Britain has brought online a new desalination plant near London capable of providing the city with 150 million gallons (568 million litres) of water per day, should the need arise. At a cost of £270 ($445) million, and built over the past four years, the plant uses reverse osmosis to remove salt from the brackish water pumped in from the Thames Estuary, which it then pumps into local reservoirs, thus staving off the threat of drought.


Reverse osmosis water purification is a filtration process whereby brackish water is pressurized in a tank which pushes it through a thin membrane, allowing only the pure water to emerge out the other side. Because of the extra energy needed for pressurization, reverse osmosis generally costs up to twice as much as regular purification processes, which in turn causes taxpayers, especially in such a wet climate as Britain, to wonder about the wisdom of installing such a plant.


But Thames Water, the company in charge of supplying drinking water to London, believes such a plant will be necessary in the future, citing the water restrictions put in place during the last extended drought in 2005/06, which was a catalyst for the construction of the plant. Critics have been quick to point out, however, that had the water company fixed its leaking pipes, some of the worst in the world, there would not have been a need for a new plant at all.


Construction of the plant was finished in June of last year, but it wasn’t until just last month that the plant began actively pumping clean water into nearby reservoirs, albeit at only one sixth capacity. Simon Evans, spokesman for Thames Water, claims they are only doing so to test the system and train workers. The idea after all, is to fill the reservoirs if they fall low due to lack of rainfall, which coincidently or not, is exactly what Britain has been experiencing this spring.


It’s likely the construction of the plant will cause other metropolitan areas to take notice as city planners the world over fall victim to criticism from thirsty city dwellers who suddenly find themselves at the mercy of varying weather patterns. Traditionally reverse osmosis plants have been built for areas with few other options, such as those in the Middle East; with this new plant in London, however, that could change.


Veolia Water to Build Produced-Water Plant in California Oilfield

Veolia Water (Pittsburgh, PA), a unit of Paris-based Veolia Environnement, has received a contract from Plains Exploration & Production Co. to design, build, and operate a produced-water reclamation facility at the Arroyo Grande Oilfield in San Luis Obispo County, California. The treatment system will incorporate Veolia Water’s OPUS technology, combining ceramic membranes, ion exchange, and reverse osmosis, and will have the capacity to treat 45,000 barrels of produced water per day (bpd). The treated water will provide 25,000 bpd for use as once-through steam generation (OTSG) make-up water and 20,000 bpd for surface water discharge. Under the agreement, Veolia will operate the facility for 12 years. Separately, Veolia Water said that it has received orders to supply key portions of the produced-water treatment system by Southern Pacific Resource Corp. for its STP-McKay Thermal Project in northern Alberta, an oil sands development project.


Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System to be Expanded

Orange County's world-renowned membrane-based Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) in California is to be expanded by another 30 MGD (113,500 m³/d) following approval by the board of the Orange County Water District (OCWD) on 30 March 2011.


The extra treatment capacity will be added to the existing Advanced Water Purification Facility in Fountain Valley and create another 31,000 acre-ft per year (afy) (38.2 million m³/year) of new water for groundwater recharge.


Additional microfiltration (MF), reverse-osmosis (RO) and ultraviolet (UV) light treatment equipment will be purchased and installed. In addition, flow equalization of secondary treated effluent from Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) will be provided by the construction of two 7.5 million gallon (28,400 m³) storage tanks.


The storage tanks will allow for the excess secondary effluent available in daytime hours to be stored and then fed to the GWRS during low night flow periods.


A significant portion of the infrastructure has already been constructed to accommodate an expansion. This includes the yard piping, pump stations, and the electrical backbone. When the GWRS was originally designed and constructed, all piping, facilities, electrical systems and the site were designed for an ultimate capacity of 130 MGD (492,000 m³/d).


Because the major processes (MF, RO and UV light) are modular systems, expansion will be relatively simple.


Five construction management companies - Butier/Tetra Tech/AECOM; Hill International; Kennedy/Jenks; MWH; and Parsons - had put in bids by 20 January 2011. A review committee ranked the Parsons bid the best followed by MWH and Butier/Tetra Tech/AECOM. It was also the least expensive.


Major work on the expansion would entail:


The project is estimated to cost US$ 156.2 million.


GWRS staff recommended prequalifying nine contractors for the project. These contractors would receive the plans and specifications to prepare construction bids with board approval. Only firms from the prequalified list would be allowed to bid on construction of the project.


The Mira Loma Recharge Basin is currently under design and will be in construction in the fall of 2011. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2012, prior to completion of the proposed expansion of GWRS. It is projected that the basin could recharge 20,000 afy (24.7 million m³) of GWRS water.


The GWR system, a joint project of OCWD and OCSD, has been operating since January 2008 and is the world's largest water purification facility of its kind. Highly treated wastewater, originally destined for the ocean, is pretreated by Memcor submerged membrane modules at a rate of 86 MGD (325,000 m³/d) before entering the RO units, followed by UV and hydrogen peroxide disinfection.


Parsons Leads Design-Build Expansion of El Segundo Water Plant

A team led by Parsons Corp. (Pasadena, CA) has been hired by the West Basin Municipal Water District to design and build the latest expansion of the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo, California. The Phase V project encompasses the expansion of existing microfiltration, reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet (UV) advanced oxidation process facilities to produce an additional 5 million gallons of water per day (mgd) to replenish groundwater supplies and serve as a seawater intrusion barrier. The project will also include the installation of a single-pass RO membrane treatment system at a Chevron plant to deliver an additional 500,000 gallons of water per day to NRG’s El Segundo Power Plant. Other Phase V work includes the addition of an ozone pre-treatment facility, irrigation water facilities, and various solids handling facilities at the Edward C. Little plant.


Inside the $3.5 Billion Victorian Desalination Project

The Victorian Desalination Plant will be capable of treating 150GL of seawater annually to augment Melbourne’s water supply


Desalination is big business in Australia, a country currently dealing with water shortages. In Victoria, the State government has formed a public private partnership with AquaSure to deliver on of the largest infrastructure projects in the State’s history—the $3.5 billion Victorian Desalination Project near Wonthaggi. The project, which utilizes reverse osmosis technology—will be capable of providing up to 150 billion liters of water a year to Melbourne’s water supply, augmenting current water resources, which grow scarcer every year. The desalinated water will supply a total of one-third of the annual supply needs of Melbourne and the surrounding area.


The Victorian Desalination Project is comprised of five components to boost Melbourne’s water supply: The construction of the desalination plant, seawater intake/outlet structures, underground intake/outlet tunnels, 84 kilometers of transfer pipelines, 87 kilometers of underground cable for the power supply plus underground fibre optic cable.


In desalination, seawater is drawn through intake structures into a series of filters. The reverse osmosis process pushes seawater through membranes under high pressure, separate salt from pure water. Desalination has been criticized by many environmentalists due to the large amount of energy it takes to eliminate the salt from seawater. To mitigate energy consumption, AquaSure and AGL Energy have signed a 30 year fixed price agreement for the purchase of renewable energy certificates.


The Victorian Desalination Project is required to comply with 221 environmental performance requirements over 38 areas, including wetlands, waterways and air quality. In addition to a commitment to renewable energy, the Victorian Desalination Project touts many green features including the collection of rainwater from the living green roof full of native plants and covered water storage tanks and stormwater management in accordance with Water Sensitive Urban Design.


With an emphasis on visual aesthetics, the Victorian Desalination Plant is designed to integrate into the surrounding landscape, quite literally—the structure is unable to be seen from all public viewing areas. Over 225 hectares of the surrounding landscape will be rehabilitated, comprising one of the largest ecological restoration projects in Victoria. The excavated soil from the project will be repurposed to form dunes to buffer visual and noise impacts on the surrounding areas.


Since the seawater is drawn into the plant from a 1.2 kilometer-long underground and undersea tunnel, the environmental impacts on the coastal ecosystem is lessened.


Thiess Degrémont has been contracted for the design and construction of the Victorian Desalination Project. It is on schedule for completion by December 2011.


Aguas Antofagasta to Begin US$120 Million Desalination Plant

Chile's region II water utility Aguas Antofagasta expects to begin construction of a new desalination plant in regional capital Antofagasta in December this year. "We already have the sea concession, the land, the project and the design, and we're just waiting for the environmental permit to call an international tender and go ahead with construction," company director Marco Kútulas was quoted as saying by local paper La Segunda.


The water utility presented an EIA for the US$120mn project to the environment ministry in January this year. The reverse osmosis plant will produce 1,000l/s of potable water, according to the EIA. The project also includes building a 10m-diameter seawater intake and a 2.4km pipeline to transfer water to the utility's storage tanks.


Aguas de Antofagasta is owned by firms Inmobiliaria Punta de Rieles (99%) and Antofagasta railway company FCAB (1%). Both companies are owned by Chile's Luksic Group.




Koch Membrane Systems to Launch New Hollow Fiber Ultrafiltration System at Ace11

Koch Membrane Systems, Inc. (KMS) will introduce TARGA® II HF, a new hollow-fiber ultrafiltration membrane system, in June at ACE11, the American Water Works Association’s 130th Annual Conference & Exposition.


KMS, a world-class developer and manufacturer of innovative membranes and membrane filtration systems, will display the TARGA II HF system and its other innovative water-treatment solutions at booth 1937 at the conference, scheduled for June 12-16 in Washington, D.C.


The TARGA II HF system offers a cost-effective, safe, high-quality water solution for a variety of ultrafiltration applications, from drinking water to seawater pretreatment, industrial water treatment, and tertiary wastewater treatment. The membrane element features a robust PES membrane which, combined with optimized cartridge and rack design, results in one of the smallest footprint products on the market. The fibers are ideally suited to meet drinking water requirements and provide 4-log virus removal.


The cornerstone of the TARGA HF system is intelligent process controls to handle variations in water quality and flow with minimal operator intervention, reduced chemical use, and less energy.


“In addition to optimized PES based membrane chemistry to reduce membrane fouling and improved module design to improve product robustness, TARGA HF comes with a state-of-the-art intelligent controls system. The intelligent control system was developed after extensive process testing with TARGA HF and allows users to handle variations in feed water quality and flow variations with minimal operator intervention while reducing overall chemical and power consumption,” said Manny Singh, KMS Vice President of Technology Product Management.


KMS will also display its leading MBR solution, the PURON submerged membrane module, at ACE11. PURON modules offer significantly lower life-cycle costs due to a single-header design that provides better solids management in the module, braided fibers to reduce the risk of fiber breakage, and highly effective air scouring that virtually eliminates sludging. PURON technology produces high-quality effluent that can meet stringent water reuse and recycling requirements while its compact design significantly reduces the treatment system footprint and installation costs.


High Recovery Reverse Osmosis for Treatment of Produced Water

Natural gas -- especially when it is produced from unconventional resources, such as coal seams, tight sands and shale formations -- is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the United States and across the world. A primary consideration in developing this resource is the management of water produced in association with the gas. While the volume and quality of gas field-produced water vary considerably between basins, a common characteristic of almost all produced water sources is the presence of total dissolved salts (TDS) at concentrations that are typically well above the secondary drinking water standard of 500 milligrams per liter (mg/L).


Disposing of produced water requires a range of management and treatment approaches and depends on several site-specific factors, including water quality, flow, landowner lease agreements, economics, discharge options and a variety of other influences. Industry currently uses several different water management tools, such as direct discharge, managed irrigation, storage and infiltration, and deep well injection. In some cases, these options are not sufficient and the only feasible option is direct "end-of-pipe" treatment.


As development of the resources in the oil and gas industry increases, so too does the regulatory and public pressure to apply direct treatment in the field. Unfortunately, all end-of-pipe technologies currently in use in the oil and gas industry are limited by an array of technical challenges and a substantially higher cost in comparison to traditional, non-treatment alternatives. For TDS removal technologies, much of the cost is attributed to brine disposal. In fact, in some instances it has been shown that brine disposal accounts for nearly 50% of the cost of produced water treatment systems. Therefore, reducing the volume of brine requiring disposal is a key objective of most produced water treatment systems.


To help address these issues, CDM developed and field tested an innovative, water treatment solution for the removal of dissolved salts that maximizes treated water recovery for discharge or beneficial reuse, while minimizing chemical consumption and the volume of waste requiring disposal. The technology was originally developed for the treatment of coal-bed methane sources in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana. However, by modifying the pretreatment system the technology has much broader application for treating produced waters in other operating basins in the U.S., Canada and globally.


The patent-pending process developed by CDM uses combination of treatment technologies, including advanced filtration, ion exchange, reverse osmosis and evaporation, arranged in an optimized sequence that maximizes overall water recoveries with minimal chemical addition. This approach removes water quality limitations that cause membrane fouling so that the RO system is limited only by osmotic pressure. The treatment process consists of the following commercially available pre-treatment technologies in the following order:



This pretreatment approach effectively removes all constituents that can cause membrane fouling. The only remaining constituent that prevents operating the RO system at the maximum recovery is silica. Until recently, silica management options were limited to the following:



Another alternative, which is the basis of CDM's patent-pending approach, is to keep silica in solution in a supersaturated, or meta-stable state, long enough for the water to leave the RO system.


The high-recovery RO treatment process includes the necessary pretreatment steps to allow super-saturation of silica without the removal of alkalinity or the continuous addition of chemicals for pH adjustment.


To demonstrate the efficacy of the treatment process, CDM conducted a full-scale continuous flow pilot test. The primary objectives of the pilot test were to verify the necessary treatment steps to maximize overall water recovery, evaluate membrane fouling potential, and develop the necessary information for full-scale design.


The he pilot-scale treatment system operated using feed water supplied from an operator's pipeline. The continuous feed rate to the treatment system was 3,500 barrels of water per day (BWPD) or 100 gpm. The final brine concentrate flow ranged from 65 to 100 BWPD (2-3 gpm).


Treatment steps consisted of:



Following are the major conclusions from the pilot test:



In summary, the CDM high-recovery RO treatment process is a field tested and proven treatment system that is adaptable and cost-effective for the treatment of a wide range of gas field-produced waters. The RO process requires very little chemical addition and produces a minimal brine stream requiring off-site disposal. A full-scale system has been designed and is being constructed for treatment of 35,000 BWPD (1,000 gpm) of coal-bed methane produced water in the Powder River Basin. Startup is expected in spring 2011.


Desalitech Ltd Awarded Contract from EPT

Israel-based Desalitech Ltd announced on 7 April 2011 that it had been awarded a contract to design and build a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination system for Environmental Protection Technologies (EPT), a global company that leads the industrial wastewater treatment market in Israel.


The 600 m³/d brackish water RO system features Desalitech's innovative Closed Circuit Desalination (CCD™) technology. Brackish well water with total dissolved solids of up to 3,500 ppm will be desalinated at 90% recovery with an energy consumption level of 0.65 kWh/m³ of permeate to supply drinking water for the Dead Sea Works industrial compound.


Newly appointed Desalitech executive vice president Dr. Rick Stover says that the BWRO-CCD process features exceptionally low capital expenditure and energy consumption along with maximum permeate recovery, reduced scaling and membrane biofouling and extreme flexibility that enables automatic adaptation to substantial variations in feed water quality and customer requirements.


The CCD process is a water treatment platform that uses conventional RO equipment in a novel configuration that dramatically reduces the cost of clean water production from seawater, brackish water, surface and ground water, and industrial water sources


Nanomesh Straw Turns Sewage into Drinkable Water

Prof. Somenath Mitra has developed a membrane incorporating carbon nanotubes that could lead to a faster and more energy-efficient method of water desalination.


When it comes to desalinating salt water, two of the main options are thermal distillation and reverse osmosis. Thermal distillation involves boiling the water and collecting the resulting freshwater condensation, while reverse osmosis involves pressurizing the salt water and forcing it through a semipermeable membrane, which will allow water molecules to pass through, but not salt. Both of these methods, however, require a considerable amount of energy – not as environmentally sound as they could be, nor entirely practical for use in developing nations, where electricity isn't readily available. Now, however, a newly-developed membrane that incorporates carbon nanotubes could make desalination much quicker, easier and energy-efficient.


The patent-pending membrane, developed by New Jersey Institute of Technology chemist Somenath Mitra, utilizes another already-existing form of desalination known as membrane distillation. Sort of like a cross between thermal distillation and reverse osmosis, it involves heating the salt water then passing it through a tube made from a semipermeable membrane, which allows water vapor to pass through while not admitting salt molecules.


Because the water is only heated to 60-90C (140-194F) and isn't pressurized, membrane distillation uses less energy than either of the other two methods. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to achieve the right degree of permeability in the membrane, and even a temperature of 60C could still be difficult to attain in impoverished conditions.


In Prof. Mitra's new material, carbon nanotubes are immobilized in the membrane's pores. This reportedly results in much greater vapor permeation while keeping liquid water from clogging the pores, and it allows for higher flow rates while requiring lower temperatures – as compared to a regular membrane, it demonstrated the same level of salt reduction at a temperature that was 20C cooler, and at a flow rate that was six times higher.


"Together these benefits lead to a greener process which could make membrane distillation economically competitive with existing desalination technologies, and we hope could provide potable water where it is most needed," said Mitra.


Beijing Sinen En-tech’s Patented System Recycles Steam

Beijing Sinen En-tech’s patented system recycles steam, saving water and reducing the use of coal. Beijing Sinen En-tech, a developer of waste treatment technologies for industrial boiler steam system, has developed a patented technology to recycle steam while saving on water and coal. Their condensed water treatment equipment recycles an average of 100 tons of water per hour and saves 1 ton of coal per hour. This translates to a saving of up to 840,000 tons of water and 8,400 tons of coal per year.


Sinen projects that if the entire boiler market in China installs their technology, the country can avoid using 67.2 million tons of coal each year.


The conventional way of reusing industrial waste steam is by cooling it and letting it undergo a treatment process before it is reheated again for reuse. However, this process is costly and is heavily reliant on fossil-fuel based energy.


They boast that their technology is standardized for easy scalability and can adjust to the systems of different regions.


The industrial steam boiler market in China is said to be worth 30 billion yuan ($4.58 billion) and growing. Steam is used in the industrial production of such industries as petroleum, steel and textiles.


While China can scarcely afford to lose the income from these industries, neither can they ignore the fact that they are not only energy intensive but also use a great amount of water.


With several provinces in China including Jiangxi, Shandong, Hebei, Anhui, Shanxi and Jiangsu facing water shortages, the 840,000 tons of water the company claims its technology can save yearly would help a lot.


Sinen’s system costs between 6 and 7 billion yuan but, the whole process could save 10 million yuan yearly in energy costs and pays for itself within seven to nine months.


The company foresees that the need for this kind of technology will increase in the coming years as the Chinese industry continues to grow with the resources becoming increasingly scarce.


“Although we have solid financing, we still have a hard time meeting the demands of the market,” said Yucheng Yang, the developer of the technology and founder of Sinen En-tech.


He added that in order to meet this demand, their company needs to continue to put money into research and development and that they are ready to seek international investments for future growth plans. They also plan to make an initial public offering in the next three to five years.


Sinen En-tech is part of the New Ventures network of the World Resources Institute. New Ventures provides business development services and investment support to environmental enterprises.


Applying a New Technology for Protecting Membranes from Scaling Increases RO Yield

By installing Fluid Dynamics Catalytic Scale prevention technology Mitsui Chemical Company in Thailand has increased the pure water yield from its RO plant by 10%.


Blocking up of membranes by calcium carbonate reduces their efficiency and adds considerably to operating costs as the amount of energy needed by pumps to pump water through the membranes rises.


The company installed a catalytic scale prevention device called Colloid-A-Tron manufactured by UK based Fluid Dynamics after the R.O. pumps and before the membranes.


It was discovered that the application of this technology increased the amount of pure water produced on a daily basis by 10%. This also means that reject water was reduced by the same amount. Finally the company discovered that 10% less energy was needed to produce this increase in pure water as the pumps did not need to pump so hard to produce the required amount of water.


Fluid Dynamics Colloid-A-Tron works by converting dissolved calcium carbonate into a' large' soft aragonite crystal. This means that there is less surface area of calcium to block membranes. In addition Aragonite crystals do not adhere as powerfully to membranes as the calcite crystals that would normally form from untreated water.


Fluid Dynamics manufactures scale prevention devices as small as 10mm in Diameter and as large as 500mm in diameter.protecting equipment ranging from ice machines to Cooling towers. Clients include, Kelloggs, Walmart, Unilever and thousand more in at least 30 countries.


The technology uses no Magnets and no electricity relying on the galvanic potential of metals in its alloy core to create a small charge that triggers crystal formation.



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