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.

Saltworks test rig with evaporation pond surrounded by windbreak.

Saltworks test rig with evaporation pond surrounded by windbreak.

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


Canada | Evaporation Pond | Filter | Temperature

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