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Technical & Practical

September 1, 2009

Strategies for Water Reuse

Membrane technologies increase the sustainability of industrial processes by enabling large-scale water reuse

Peter Aerts and Flora Tong, Dow Water & Process Solutions

In more and more locations, the availability of fresh water resources is limited and water reuse is becoming increasingly important. For many industrial applications, the availability of water is essentially a “license to operate”.

A large component of the water consumption in many chemical process industries (CPI) is high- and low-pressure boiler water. As such, reusing cooling water blowdown ­— water discharged from the cooling water system — for boiler water makeup can be a very attractive option in water-stressed areas. Another option gaining attention is recycling municipal wastewater for industrial uses. In this article, the technology options, advantages and disadvantages of using membranes to reuse water for these key industrial applications are discussed.

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