Saltworks shows off its Thermo-Ionic desalination

Ben Sparrow and Joshua Zoshi, respectively CEO and president of Saltworks Technologies Inc, showed D&WR a working model of their Thermo-IonicTM desalination system at the recent International Desalination Association World Congress in Dubai.

The pair were demonstrating their innovative technology, scaled to a suitcase-sized container, to potential partners in their hotel room.

The technology uses salinity gradients and potential differences between three different streams, working off low-temperature energy, such as sunlight or waste heat.

The starting point is the concentration of salt water using, say, an open evaporation pond or low-grade heat source, to reach a concentration of 18-20% salt mass. Reject brine can also be used.

The main proprietary unit then accepts the concentrated stream and a diluted seawater stream to create an energy transfer while desalinating a third product stream. During passage through the desalting device, the concentrate concentration is decreased while the diluent concentration is increased.

The device uses ion-exchange to transfer salt ions while keeping the solutions physically separated. The inventors say that the use of ion-exchange rather than water-exchange reduces pretreatment requirements and enables reversal for self-cleaning, during which production can be maintained.

The only power required from an external source is less than 1kWh/m³ to run the low-pressure pump maintaining the circulation.

Saltworks has a 1,000 L/d seawater pilot plant for long-duration trials nearing completion in Vancouver, Canada, where the company is based. Sparrow and Zoshi believe the plant, using slow sand filter pretreatment, can be expanded up to 20,000 L/d.

Contact: Ben Sparrow, Saltworks Technologies Inc
Tel: +1 604 628 6508
Email: [email protected]