ADC sets new record for lowest energy usage in desalination with Filmtec membranes

The Affordable Desalination Collaboration (ADC) achieves new record for lowest energy use in RO seawater desalination using FILMTEC SW30XLE-400i membranes from Dow Chemical subsidiary FilmTec. Conducted at the U.S. Navy's Seawater Desalination Test Facility in Port Hueneme, CA, the test effectively demonstrates the capability of SWRO technology in producing potable water for the state's water-stressed municipalities...

MIDLAND, MI, June 19, 2006 -- The Affordable Desalination Collaboration (ADC) has achieved a new record for lowest energy use in reverse osmosis (RO) seawater desalination using FILMTEC™ SW30XLE-400i "low energy" membranes from FilmTec Corp., a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.

Conducted at the U.S. Navy's Seawater Desalination Test Facility in Port Hueneme, CA, the test effectively demonstrates the capability of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) technology in producing potable water for the water-stressed municipalities in California. The test utilizes a unique combination of proven technologies, equipment and designs to indicate the cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency of desalination over alternate sources of water supply in the state.

The second in a series of three tests, all exclusively using Filmtec membranes, the ADC Set II achieved a world record for low energy seawater desalination by RO at 6.00 kWh/kgal (1.58 kWh/m3), with operating conditions of 6 gfd (gallons per square foot per day) and 43% recovery.

"SWRO technology has improved tremendously over the past few years, allowing for reduced energy consumption. As energy prices continue to increase, this will become more significant in lowering overall treatment costs. The results of this test are indicative of this," said Lance Johnson, manager, Global Desalination Projects, The Dow Chemical Company.

"As a leader in SWRO technology, Dow has been involved in major projects, such as the Ashkelon desalination project in Israel, which produces affordable, low energy-usage seawater desalination using Filmtec membranes," continued Johnson. "The results from this round of ADC testing demonstrate that SWRO technology is a viable technology for states like California that must produce large amounts of potable water every day while keeping a close eye on energy costs and reducing CO2 emissions."

ADC is a non-profit organization of governmental and state agencies, special water districts and leading companies in the desalination industry, of which FilmTec Corporation is a member. The goal of the ADC demonstration facility is to demonstrate that SWRO can be a low energy-consuming and cost-effective source of fresh water in California, and to provide water agencies and private companies studying the feasibility of seawater desalination plants with opportunities for practical operations and maintenance information.

Improvements in membranes in the last few years have played a significant role in lowering energy costs of desalination.

"Whether one operates at a low flux, low pressure design or higher water recovery, Filmtec membranes continue to enable more economical and efficient desalination systems," stated Johnson. "Ultimately our goal is to achieve highest water quality at the lowest possible cost of desalination, and we continue making progress towards this end."

Filmtec elements, both RO and nanofiltration (NF), helped pioneer the membrane-based water filtration industry and set the industry standard for consistent, reliable, long-lasting performance. Filmtec elements are based on proven FT30 thin-film composite, polyamide membrane technology. Filmtec FT30 membranes offer very high rejection of dissolved solids and organics and operate efficiently at lower pressures. They also offer greater structural ability and durability, better pH stability, and longer service life.

Dow ( is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of science and technology to improve living daily. The company offers a broad range of innovative products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $46 billion and employs 42,000 people worldwide.

Also see:
-- "Dow named 2006 "Galaxy Star of Energy Efficiency" by Alliance to Save Energy"
-- "Dow Chemical names Attiganal Sreeram to lead core research and development"
-- "Dow offers Filmtec membrane elements with extended pH limits for cleaning"


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