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Strategies for Water Reuse

By 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. The drivers for reuse Water reuse has several drivers. First of all, the need for water reuse is related to freshwater availability, which depends on the natural environment, climate and the industrial and urban pollution related to the use of water. The affordability of water treatment compared to the price of freshwater is a driver for reuse in areas where the two are similar. In regions where freshwater is relatively inexpensive, unfortunately,…
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