Desalination brine disposal methods and treatment technologies

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The research article 'Desalination brine disposal methods and treatment technologies - A review' has been published in Elsevier journal Science of The Total Environment (Volume 693, 25 November 2019, 133545).

Abstract

Brine, also known as concentrate, is the by-product of the desalination process that has an adverse impact on the environment due to its high salinity. Hence, viable and cost-effective brine management systems are needed to reduce environmental pollution. Currently, various disposal methods have been practiced, including surface water discharge, sewer discharge, deep-well injection, evaporation ponds and land application. However, these brine disposal methods are unsustainable and restricted by high capital costs and non-universal application. Nowadays, brine treatment is considered one of the most promising alternatives to brine disposal, since treatment results in the reduction of environmental pollution, minimization of waste volume and production of freshwater with high recovery.

This review article evaluates current practices in brine management, including disposal methods and treatment technologies. Based upon the side-by-side comparison of technologies, a brine treatment technology framework is introduced to outline the Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) approach through high freshwater recovery and wastewater volume minimization. Furthermore, an overview of brine characteristics and its sources, as well as its negative impact on the environment is discussed. Finally, the paper highlights future research areas for brine treatment technologies aiming to enhance the effectiveness and viability of desalination.

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