Intermediate concentrate demineralization techniques – A review

The research article 'Intermediate concentrate demineralization techniques for enhanced brackish water reverse osmosis water recovery – A review' has been published in Elsevier journal Desalination (Volume 466, 15 September 2019, Pages 24-35).


Brackish water (BW) desalination represents an untapped potential for augmenting water resources by the reliable technology of reverse osmosis (RO). There is a significant economic incentive to operate the process at the highest possible water recovery. A high recovery has the important advantage of reducing the amount of concentrate waste stream whose safe disposal is of significant environmental concerns. The degree of RO water recovery possible with a given raw water is dictated by the scaling problem. To overcome this hindrance, a variety of processes have been developed for conditioning the concentrate emanating from the primary RO unit for additional permeate production by a secondary RO unit.

This paper provides a critical review of the treatment technologies that enable intensification of the water recovery in BWRO desalination by the intermediate concentrate demineralization techniques. The principles of each technique as well as its strength, weaknesses, technology readiness level, and economics are discussed. Extensive application of ICD technologies requires overcoming challenges such as lowering energy demand and total cost and reducing membrane scaling and use of chemicals.

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