The research article 'Treatment of greenhouse wastewater for reuse or disposal using monovalent selective electrodialysis' has been published in Elsevier journal Desalination (Volume 507, 1 July 2021, 115037).
Minimal liquid discharge (MLD) in greenhouses minimizes the volume of discharged wastewater, thereby increasing the volume of effluent that may be reused. Sodium accumulation in wastewater is often considered the main bottleneck to achieving 100% reuse. Consequently, greenhouses have begun adopting reverse osmosis (RO), the most commonly used desalination technology for wastewater treatment. RO removes ions from wastewater indiscriminately, including multivalent nutrients to crops (Ca2+, Mg2+, SO42−, PO43−). In contrast, monovalent selective electrodialysis (MSED) selectively removes monovalent sodium while retaining multivalent nutrients in solution. For greenhouses that have not achieved MLD, MSED has an alternative application of reducing levels of nitrate, a monovalent ion and agricultural pollutant, in wastewater for disposal.
This paper investigates the monovalent selectivity and potential of the widely-used Neosepta MSED membranes and the new Fujifilm MSED membranes to treat wastewater in greenhouses for reuse or discharge. Eight effluent compositions are tested as feedwater in a laboratory MSED system. Both membranes demonstrate selectivity towards sodium and nitrate across the tested compositions. Fujifilm cation-exchange membranes remove two to six sodium ions, compared to Neosepta's two to eight, for every magnesium ion. Fujifilm anion-exchange membranes remove two to seven nitrate ions, compared to Neosepta's two to six, for every sulfate ion.