Environmental Protection Technologies (EPT), an Israeli-based water and wastewater treatment and reuse plant operator, will ramp up the capacity of a novel system based on reverse osmosis (RO) that supplies drinking water and process water for pharmaceutical manufacturing at the Dead Sea Works chemical plant.
The RO plant is designed by Tel Aviv-based Desalitech, which has an office in Newton, Mass., employing what it calls Closed Circuit Desalination technology to currently produce 100 gpm of usable water from brackish water near the Dead Sea Works site. IMT Fluid & Gas Flow Journal first covered the technology and process earlier this year.
The CCD process involves a high-pressure feed pump that yields permeate for a single-stage membrane array. Upon sufficient water recovery, brine is flushed out of the system by high-pressure feedwater and recirculated by a pump to the feed inlet, in a batch-like operation — hence the closed-circuit nature of the system. The feed composition at the Israeli plant is described as having high amounts of organic matter and minerals with “extreme variations in water chemistry, temperature, and dust.”
The CCD technology is said to be highly efficient, with high recovery rates and less brine waste, operating at lower pressures and consuming less energy compared with conventional RO systems. The system does not use any energy recovery device. Total water-treatment cost savings are reportedly from 20 to 60 percent versus traditional processes.
The system’s end-user adopted it due to the limited water supply in the Dead Sea region, where temperatures exceed 100 degrees F with low humidity in the summer and lead to extremely dry conditions. The trouble-free operation of the RO plant is the reason behind the planned 50 percent capacity expansion, it was reported. EPT owns and runs the plant and says it will start offering the Desalitech system to other industrial end-users around the world, including food and beverage, chemical, petrochemical, paper, and pharmaceutical plants.
“Desalitech’s high-recovery water systems provide a better solution in challenging conditions than conventional RO processes,” says Yechiel Menuchin, CEO of EPT.
Adds Nadav Efraty, Desalitech CEO, “Desalitech takes great pride in the fact that our solutions are able to handle some of the most challenging water sources on the planet.”
Desalitech’s systems are also being marketed for agricultural applications.