NATO sponsoring pilot tests for RO desalination

The RO water desalination process developed by Eli Korin and Jack Gilron can reduce brine volumes to 33-50% of those generated in conventional RO. The RO desalination process is easily scalable and can be retrofitted to existing desalination plants.

Korin, from Ben-Gurion University said: “Our method for controlling membrane scaling is based on avoiding getting past the nucleation stage of sparingly solute salts on the surface of the membrane. We use the flow reverse method to prevent scale formation by changing the entrance and exit of the feed before the induction time of nucleation along the membrane wall runs out and precipitation occurs.”

He continued: “Reversing the flow before the induction time of the system is reached replaces the supersaturated brine at the exit with the unsaturated feed and thus ‘zeroes the induction clock’.”

Korin and Gilron are working with engineers from the University of Colorado and the Hashemite University of Jordon to test the RO desalination process at the pilot plants. Financial support is coming from NATO as the work will foster good relation between Jordon and Israel. The first pilot plant is run by Israel’s national water company, Merorot, will begin testing at the end of 2009. The second at Amman in Al Zareqa, Jordon will begin testing in 2010.