Energy saving RO membranes launched in China for brackish and industrial water

This year’s Aquatech China 2013 has seen LANXESS launch RO membranes for brackish water and DW&PS launch its FILMTEC ECO elements, both claiming breakthroughs in energy and pressure reductions...

With fuel prices going up at the same time as municipalities’ budgets being squeezed, the cost of energy for processing water and wastewater is one that is always looking to be reduced.

Manufacturers of equipment are battling it out to produce the most energy efficient equipment, particularly in the reverse osmosis (RO) filtration arena where energy costs have traditionally been high as result of the high pressures required.

As a result, this year’s Aquatech China 2013 has seen chemicals company LANXESS launch RO membranes for brackish water and Dow Water & Process Solutions (DW&PS) launch its FILMTEC ECO elements, both claiming breakthroughs in energy and pressure reductions.

LANXESS’ membrane separation elements for reverse osmosis (RO)-based water treatment include new low energy (LE) elements. The company said the operating pressures of the LE membrane elements are around 20 to 40% below those of “the standard pressure elements in our product portfolio”.

The main area of application for RO elements equipped with LE membranes is the desalination of brackish water. These elements can be used to treat both surface water and groundwater in industrial and municipal sectors, including the treatment of wastewater.

The LE membranes are spiral wound and made from a polyamide composite membrane sheet. Three product types are currently available, each with an average salt rejection of 99.5% at reference conditions of 10.3 bar, according to LANXESS.

The Executive Technology Comparison article in the June-July issue of WWi asked multiple manufacturers how the energy and environmental footprint of RO membranes is being reduced (see WWi article).

Meanwhile DW&PS has said that its newly launched FILMTEC ECO elements “combine new membrane chemistry and low dP feed spacers to help deliver notably lower energy costs and reduced chemical consumption when RO is followed by a mixed bed ion exchange unit”.

The elements have been designed with a rejection and low energy consumption (99.7% at 150 psi), to deliver up to 40% lower salt passage at up to 30% less energy when compared to standard RO elements, the company claimed.

FILMTEC ECO elements are offered in ECO-400i and ECO-440i configurations.

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