China opens laboratory to drive forward osmosis development

A pairing of leading players in China’s water and petrochemicals industries have launched a venture to develop forward osmosis in seawater desalination that they claim will: “open up a new way for zero liquid discharge (ZLD) in seawater desalination of seawater resources with low energy consumption.”

Chinese water treatment company, Beijing Woteer Water Technology, has teamed up with Fushun Research Institute of Petroleum and Petrochemicals (FRIPP) to open a laboratory dedicated to forward osmosis in seawater desalination. The laboratory, in the Changping district of Beijing, is equipped to evaluate forward osmosis technology in upstream and downstream oil and gas and power industry applications.

“As the first forward osmosis technology laboratory of industry wastewater ZLD and seawater desalination in China, the laboratory is equipped with a world-class research and development team and the most advanced equipment,” the partners said in a statement. Beijing Woteer has exclusive rights to Oasys Water’s Membrane Brine Concentration (MBC) technology in China’s oil and gas, power an and other industrial markets. Woteer has established the first domestic forward osmosis MBC pilot system for seawater desalination application in Huang Hua, Hebei province.

“Forward osmosis technology has strong competitiveness in brine concentration and seawater desalination,” said Beijing Woteer. It said using a system “based on the advanced lime pretreatment technology and forward osmosis technology”, the laboratory aimed to provide “reliable, advanced and cost-effective ZLD solution for high chemical oxygen demand wastewater, high salinity wastewater and high heavy metals wastewater from petrochemical, coal chemical, power industry, metallurgy and other industries.”

The laboratory will seek to achieve low-energy seawater desalination and to produce brine with salinity of more than 22% using forward osmosis technology.

FRIPP’s research and development focus currently includes contaminant in petrochemical wastewater, whole-set wastewater treatment techniques for new refinery plants, inferior crude oil processing wastewater treatment, microorganisms, and brine concentration. It aims to develop clean production technologies and whole set wastewater treatment technologies for petrochemical wastewater, wastewater reuse, environmental protection equipments and catalysts, water treatment chemicals and etc. 

Beijing Woteer is a subsidiary of CAMCE that is affiliated to state-owned construction conglomerate China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach.) FRIPP is affiliated to state-owned China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopech).

The cooperation of Woteer and FRIPP will promote the application of forward osmosis technology in petrochemical-industry wastewater treatment the companies said. Furthermore, it will promote the strategic cooperation between Sinomach and Sinopec in petrochemical wastewater treatment field they added.