memsys and Horizon combine to reduce ZLD costs

A pilot trial is due to start in May 2014 of a method to reduce the costs of zero liquid discharge (ZLD) technology at a coal to chemical (CTX) project in northern China.

An agreement has been signed between memsys®, membrane distillation (MD) specialist from Germany/Singapore, and Horizon Environmental Technology Ltd, a leading water and wastewater technology company in China.

The two companies will use memsys' MD technology to further concentrate the wastewater or brine solution from upstream unit processes so that the capital investment and operating cost of the downstream ZLD technology can be significantly reduced.

The memsys technology is a thermal separation process based on proprietary Vacuum Multi-Effect Membrane Distillation (V-MEMD). The process can be operated using waste heat to produce a high quality distillate and treats a variety of feed water including wastewater or brine with high TDS concentration.

"After evaluating several technologies, we have selected membrane distillation technology for treating and concentrating of this wastewater from CTX processing plants," Michael Tian, general manager of Horizon said. "By incorporating memsys' MD system into our overall treatment process, we can provide a cost-effective solution to solve the wastewater problem facing the CTX industry in China."

The Chinese government has promoted the development of the "new coal industry" that uses coal as a feedstock for different chemical production processes. Coal-to-Chemical (CTX) plants are large consumers of water. They are located predominantly in regions that are coal abundant but water scarce.

Conventional wastewater treatment technologies cannot deal with such highly polluted wastewater. This results in ZLD technology being considered and applied for this market sector, since the wastewater is not permitted to be discharged into the surrounding environment and evaporation ponds.


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