Veolia buys rights to ZDD desalination technology

Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies has acquired worldwide rights to commercialize a new patented zero discharge desalination (ZDD) technology developed at the University of South Carolina by ZDD Inc.

The technology combines several separation processes, including an electrodialysis device in an ion-substitution mode to remove divalent salts from water. This process prevents salts from precipitating during the purification process and allows greater water recovery.

According to Veolia on 3 June 2009, recent pilot testing has proved that the technology can achieve 97% recovery on brackish water over an extended time period. Large-scale piloting will be completed in 2009 to validate life-cycle costs prior to a 0.5-MGD (1,892 m³/d) demonstration plant being built.

As part of the larger-scale piloting, a separate cost analysis will determine the marketability of beneficial byproducts produced by the process.

Applications of the technology include:

  • Greenfield desalination sites and retrofit of existing reverse-osmosis facilities, where ZDD is expected to increase recovery rates from 75 to 97%;
  • Various industrial applications to enhance water reuse capabilities; and
  • Seawater desalination to improve water-recovery rates and produce multiple byproducts.