Forward osmosis: is China next to shake up the desalination sector?

Sponsored by

After completing installation of its second forward osmosis facility in Oman, Modern Water is now expanding eastwards with an agreement signed in China.

The UK-headquartered company has signed a Framework Agreement with Hangzhou Development Center of Water Treatment Technology (Hangzhou Water), in the People’s Republic of China.

The aim of the partnership will be to jointly identify and develop projects in China, including seawater desalination plants and other water-related opportunities.

In September Modern Water said it had completed commissioning of its 200 cubic metre per day forward osmosis desalination plant at Al Najdah in the Al Wusta region of Oman (see Water & Wastewater International magazine story).

Hangzhou Water is owned by National BlueStar (Group), which is part of the state-owned China National Chemical Corporation. Hangzhou Water specialises in membrane systems for industrial uses such as seawater desalination, industrial pure water preparation and water reuse.

The company owns four mainstream technologies-electro-osmosis (ED), reverse osmosis (RO), ultra-filtration (UF), and microfiltration (MF). It also has production lines for membranes of RO, NF, UF, and MF, and manufactures and sells 23 product lines in five sectors.

Hangzhou Water has won or been involved in approximately 60% of China’s current or planned desalination projects. Hangzhou Water has engineer, procure and construct (EPC) contracts as well membrane manufacturing and fabrication facilities.

Improved membrane materials are now allowing large scale desalination facilities to come online, with the 444,000 m3/day Victoria desalination plant in Melbourne, Australia recently opening for business and the 510,000 m3/day Soreq plant in Israel expected soon (see WWi story).

While RO technology – requiring pressure to force seawater through membranes and leave behind contaminants – is gaining traction and confidence globally, forward osmosis is still in its infancy on a widespread, commercial scale in comparison.

The latter instead requires a draw solution to create a driving force for freshwater to pass through the membrane (see WWi explaining the technology).

Modern Water calls its process Manipulated Osmosis, with the first plant located in Gibraltar supplying water for public consumption from May 2009. The company claims that energy consumption can be up to 30% lower than conventional reverse osmosis.

Last year Modern Water’s Monitoring Technologies division in the country contributed sales of more than £500,000 to the group.

Neil McDougall, executive chairman of Modern Water, said: “Sources estimating the industry in China will see new investment of up to RMB20 billion (US$3.2 billion) over the next four years.”


Sponsored by

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Water Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox or Mailbox

Subscribe to one of our magazines or email newsletters today at no cost and receive the latest information.


Water startup to improve seawater desalination with innovative RO technology

According to Jaime Mateus, CEO of Anfiro, a water technology startup addressing global freshwater scarcity, his company -- based on innovations from Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame -- could improve membranes used in seawater desalination plants.

EPA settles with East Bay MUD over hazardous waste violations

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a settlement with East Bay Municipal Utility District for improper management of hazardous waste at its Oakland wastewater treatment plant. The public utility agreed to pay a $99,900 penalty.

NSF Int'l, Global-Mark partner to provide certification of plumbing products in Australia

NSF International and Global-Mark have partnered to provide WaterMark certification, which is required for all plumbing products used in Australia.

NAWC formally announces new Board of Directors for organization

Earlier this week, the National Association of Water Companies officially announced the organization's new board of directors at its annual Water Summit in the city of Scottsdale, Ariz.




© 2015. PennWell Corporation. All Rights Reserved. PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS