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Comment Environment, Health, Safety & Security

Reduce energy costs by combining wastewater treatment and desalination

By Tetsuo Satoh |

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO; Kawasaki, Japan; www.nedo.go.jp) and Global Water Recycling and Reuse Solution Technology Research Assn. (GWSTA) have developed a new water-treatment system that integrates seawater desalination with recycle water from a sewage treatment plant. In a demonstration unit installed at the Water Plaza Kitakyushu (deveolved to Kitakyushu City on April 1), Japan, the system achieved energy savings of more than 30%, says NEDO. Because the desalination process partially uses water recovered from the sewage-treatment process, less seawater is withdrawn, thus reducing the environmental load. The organizations believe the system is an optimal water-treatment package for regions where water is scarce. In the demonstration plant, sewage is first pretreated by a membrane bioreactor (MBR) with a flowrate of 1,500 m3/d. The water is then treated in a low-pressure reverse osmosis (RO) membrane system (throughput of 1,400 m3/d), to make water for industrial applications. The low-concentration brine from the RO process is then mixed with seawater, pretreated by ultrafiltration (UF; flowrate of 500 m3/d) and then used as the feedwater for a medium-pressure RO membrane system (flowrate…
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