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Water Treatment for Zero Liquid Discharge, High Recovery Plants

AquaR2ROWater treatment developer Aquatech has introduced the AquaR2RO membrane process designed for use in facilities requiring zero liquid discharge or very high recovery.

The process is designed for industries such as oil and gas, power generation, steel, pulp and paper, and where the feed water has high scaling / fouling potential. Aquatech says in some applications, AquaR2RO can achieve more than 98 percent recovery.

The AquaR2RO process features a unique configuration of membranes engineered to cost-effectively treat waters that are difficult to treat with conventional membranes processes. Due to its distinctive design, AquaR2RO can tolerate feed characteristics that are high in organics, dissolved oil, and turbidity, the company says. The process can provide high recovery while handling high TDS water due to its ability to withstand higher than normal operating pressures.

The AquaR2RO process maximizes recovery across the membrane system and minimizes the volume of concentrate to be treated in the thermal-based ZLD with a brine concentrator and/or crystallizer. In most cases, it can replace the brine concentrator, thus optimizing the solution.

“Integrating AquaR2RO in the ZLD process results in a reliable and robust ZLD plant that achieves very high recovery through a cost-effective membrane pre-concentration step requiring a smaller thermal backend system,” says C.K. Tiwari, Aquatech senior vice president. “This results in significantly lower CAPEX and OPEX for the overall ZLD system. In a ZLD plant, thermal treatment generally contributes more than 50 percent to 70 percent of the total CAPEX and 50 percent of OPEX if waste heat is not available. While scaling and fouling in a membrane process can be mitigated through properly designed pretreatment, high TDS can be addressed only with membrane treatment. Conventional membrane systems are limited in recovery due to scaling and pressure considerations, but the unique configuration of AquaR2RO eliminates this constraint.”


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