Energy-saving RO elements from Dow

Dow Filmtec Seamaxx RO elements help reduce the high amount of energy typically needed to create freshwater from saltwater. The membranes are suitable for both single, double pass and interstaged desalination systems and can treat medium to high total dissolved solids, brine treatment and high salinity brackish water.

While reverse osmosis is the most widely practiced desalination technology, the Pacific Institute estimates that seawater desalination averages about 15,000 kilowatts per hour per million gallons (3.96 kWh/m3) of water produced, making it one of the most energy-intensive, and therefore one of the most cost-intensive, water treatment processes available.

“Turning seawater into high quality, usable water is a growing trend in the Caribbean to overcome the challenge of water scarcity and water shortages,” said Felipe Pinto, Americas marketing manager for reverse osmosis, DW&PS. “Our goal is to develop sustainable technologies that provide the region with increased and efficient access to clean water at lower cost, with less impact on the environment.”

Improved membrane design

Dow Filmtec Seamaxx RO elements have low energy consumption (17,000 gallons per day), and an improved module design, with 440 ft2 of active membrane surface and interlocking technology that could help maximize the productivity of a desalination system with low differential pressure, low cleaning frequency and high cleaning efficiency. They can produce up to 99.7% water purity, and up to 10% energy savings with less fouling at high operating flux compared to conventional low energy elements.

The elements were exhibited at the CaribDA 2014 Conference & Exposition, at the end of June.