Desalination Concentrate Disposal: Salt Production For Zero-Discharge System

Federica Alberti, Nicola Mosto and Corrado Sommariva*, Mott MacDonald, UAE

Since large-scale desalination started, the question of how to dispose of the reject material produced by the process has occupied the minds of engineers and economists. The quantity of brine discharged from desalination plants is increasing, and this trend will be maintained for the near future. The minerals extracted must have a value, but how can this best be realised?

This summation of the current state-of-the-art in brine disposal is an update of a paper originally presented at the European Desalination Society's EuroMed conference in Jordan in November 2008. The methods outlined provide both the production of a byproduct and environmental protection by processing the outfall brine from desalination plants.

The process is the first step towards the "zero discharge system", and therefore the method should be considered as a novel approach rather than a competitive one to the traditional thermal, chemical and membrane processes.

This article appeared in D&WR magazine's February/March 2009 issue.

*Corrado Sommeriva has recently moved to ILF Consulting Engineers.

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