RO technology helps reduce energy use, costs in global desalination treatment

Dow Water & Process Solutions has created an effective and efficient way for water treatment companies to reduce the amount of energy used in desalination processes without decreasing the capacity of water processed daily with its DOW SEAMAXX reverse osmosis elements.

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Feb. 2, 2015 -- Dow Water & Process Solutions, a specialist in sustainable water separation and purification technologies, has created an effective and efficient way for water treatment companies to reduce the amount of energy used in desalination processes without decreasing the capacity of water processed daily. Further, the company is helping these utilities reduce energy consumption in the production of drinking water, making it more accessible to consumers across the globe.

In this sense, the company's DOW SEAMAXX™ reverse osmosis (RO) elements have been installed in many new plants across Europe and the Middle East, including Cyprus, Israel and Italy, for reducing the energy costs of seawater desalination and achieving greater economic efficiency. These RO systems ultimately optimize energy use by reducing the specific energy consumption (kWh/m3) needed to produce freshwater by up to 10 percent -- a major economic and ecological benefit.

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DOW SEAMAXX reverse osmosis elements

The main feature of these membranes is their high permeability, which enables higher total production at the facility without increasing operating pressure, thereby reducing specific energy consumption. This high permeability, achieved by means of enhanced membrane chemistry, enables an RO production plant to operate at higher conversion rates at similar or even lower operating pressures than those required by existing RO membranes, therefore reducing the initial capital cost as well as operating costs.

DOW SEAMAXX has an optimized module design, with 40.88 m2 of active membrane surface and interlocking technology that maximizes the productivity of a desalinization system with low differential pressure, low cleaning frequency and high cleaning efficiency. The technology also has less fouling at high operating flux and has typically demonstrated success in producing 99.7-percent water purity. These elements make DOW SEAMAXX ideal for single, double-pass and interstaged desalinization systems treating medium to high total dissolved solids, brine treatment and high salinity brackish water.

Dow's latest innovation can also be operated at the same conversion rates as other conventional products. However, in this case, the feed pressure required and consequently the associated energy cost is reduced even more significantly. The company's Global Water Technology Center in the city of Tarragona, Spain, which opened in June 2011 following an investment of $15 million, was crucial to the development of DOW SEAMAXX. In fact, the experimental results to prove the efficiency and excellent performance of the product were obtained at the Tarragona center.

See also:

"Expert Q&A: The Significance of Reuse in Sustainable Management of Water Resources"

"How will material developments, innovation and research improve or change membrane desalination in the future?"

About Dow Water & Process Solutions

A specialist in sustainable separation and purification technology, Dow Water & Process Solutions, a global business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, helps to make water safer and more accessible, food taste better, pharmaceuticals more effective, and industries more efficient by spearheading the development of sustainable technologies that integrate water and energy requirements. The company offers a broad portfolio of ion exchange resins, RO and ultrafiltration membranes, fine particle filters, and electrodeionization products, with strong positions in a number of major application areas, including industrial and municipal water, industrial processes, pharmaceuticals, power, residential water and waste, and water reuse. For more information, visit


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