Toray to operate sewage reuse demo plant employing membranes in India

Toray Industries Inc is to start demonstrating an energy-saving sewage reuse system employing its water treatment membranes in Chennai, India.

The Toray sewage reuse system.
The Toray sewage reuse system.

In  2021, the Japan International Cooperation Agency chose a Toray proposal to demonstrate and commercialize energy-saving sewage reuse systems in India that purify water with water-treatment membranes.

The Japanese company opened the Toray India Water Research Center at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras Research Park in 2022. The center conducts joint research with the institute into using water-treatment membranes for sewage reuse technologies. Toray also embarked on building a sewage reuse demonstration plant that has recently become operational.

The Toray system uses two approaches to treat sewage. The first combines biological treatment with ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis membranes. The second brings together membrane bioreactor and reverse osmosis membranes. Water filtered by ultrafiltration membranes and the membrane bioreactor is scarce of organic matter, particles, and microorganisms in sewage, and can be discharged into lakes and other bodies of water for indirect reuse as drinking water. Reverse osmosis membranes can also remove salts, heavy metals, arsenic, fluorine, and other contaminants to further enhanced reclaimed water.

In recent years, Toray has developed and launched a range of energy-saving products employing reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration membranes and membrane bioreactor modules. It has engineered these offerings to consume 30% less power than conventional Toray-made counterparts.

The authorities in Chennai and Mumbai plan to reuse sewage with membranes from 2027 onwards. By demonstrating and promoting its system, Toray will contribute to greater sewage reuse in major Indian cities and help the Indian nation address severe water shortages.