Successful FlexEDR Pilot Report Published by EPRI

flex edr selective pilot

EPRI Publishes Report on Saltworks’ Successful FGD Industrial Water Reuse Project

"Chloride kidney" achieves 93% water recovery from flue gas desulfurization wastewater—without costly chemical pre-treatment

May 18th 2022

Saltworks welcomes the publication of a new report by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The report summarizes results from a pilot project completed by Saltworks at one of the largest coal power plants in the US. The project employed Saltworks’ FlexEDR monovalent electrodialysis “chloride kidney” technology to treat flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater at a coal-fired power plant. The project recovered 93% freshwater without the need for costly chemical softening.

The report, entitled “FGD Wastewater Treatment Testing Using a Saltworks FlexEDR Selective (Electrodialysis Reversal System) Technology”, gives an overview of treatment technologies, explains the need for selective chloride removal in FGD wastewater, and provides testing methodology and results that demonstrate FlexEDR’s performance. FlexEDR also previously won POWER Magazine’s 2020 Water Award following this same pilot project.

flex edr selective pilot

The FlexEDR chloride kidney system builds on industrialized electrodialysis reversal by integrating Saltworks’ proprietary IonFlux selective monovalent anion exchange membranes (mAEM). These membranes selectively remove chloride ions while preventing sulfate from entering the brine. This prevents the formation of scale-causing calcium sulfate and avoids the need to remove calcium via expensive soda ash softening—a requirement of reverse osmosis systems aiming to achieve similar recoveries.

 

Saltworks’ FlexEDR systems are also engineered to operate reliably in the face of higher organic and particulate loads than those tolerated by reverse osmosis. This means FlexEDR offers vastly simplified pre-treatment and lowered capital and operating costs when treating FGD wastewater for chlorides, all while achieving a high water recycling rate.

 

Saltworks is proud to provide leading technologies that are backed by third-party data and analysis. The FlexEDR Selective system can remove monovalent ions from most industrial wastewaters. If you have wastewater that is blown down due to chloride concentration then reach out to Saltworks for a solution that selectively extracts chlorides and recycles wastewater in a singular, robust unit operation.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and lithium refining. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability with challenging waters and brines. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks designs, builds, and operates full-scale treatment plants, and offers comprehensive offsite and onsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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Saltworks is excited to announce the shipment of two ”competing” membrane-based industrial wastewater treatment plants. Although electrodialysis reversal (EDR) and reverse osmosis (RO) may be viewed as competing desalination technologies, Saltworks offers both and helps clients navigate the fit case for each.

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Lithium & Nickel Crystallizers for the EV Battery Industry

Photo of a SaltMaker ChilledCrys Full-Scale Skid

Lithium & Nickel Crystallizers for the EV Battery Industry

Modular SaltMaker MVR and ChilledCrys Systems

March 24th 2022

Saltworks has shipped two SaltMaker MVR crystallizers and a SaltMaker ChilledCrys to the electric vehicle (EV) battery industry. These full-scale systems will play an essential role in the production of lithium and nickel—two critical elements in EV batteries.

SaltMaker MVR crystallizers are highly modular, electrically driven, and use forced circulation mechanical vapour recompression (MVR) to evaporate water and crystallize compounds. Their compact and modular design enables rapid installation on factory floors, boosting production while recycling wastewater and ions of value.

Saltworks offers a suite of advanced water technology solutions to support electrification and decarbonization in industry, particularly industrial desalination.

Photo of a full-scale SaltMaker MVR Plant
Photo of the heat exchanger in a SaltMaker MVR Plant
Photo of full-scale SaltMaker MVR plants packaged for shipment

Photos of SaltMaker MVR: a comprehensive modular plant (left), a heat exchanger (middle), and fully packaged for shipping (right).   

Saltworks’ EVP, Malcolm Man, commented “We’re proud to contribute to a greener future for all means of transport, regardless of what’s under the hood: gas engines, lithium-ion batteries, or hydrogen fuel cells. Advanced water technology is critical for all as they seek to limit GHG emissions and environmental impacts within their supply chains.”

Photo of a full-scale SaltMaker ChilledCrys Plant
Photo of a SaltMaker ChilledCrys Full-Scale Skid

Photos of SaltMaker ChilledCrys on the Saltworks factory floor: full plant (left) and from above (right).   

Saltworks’ solutions are used to concentrate and convert valuable metals to battery-grade solids, manage residual brines, and target specific contaminants. The company’s most economic recovery projects involve lithium, nickel, and cobalt. Saltworks has also helped clients recover commodity chemicals such as ammonia, sodium sulfate, and acids. Reach out to Saltworks’ technical experts to learn more.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability on challenging waters. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks designs, builds, and operates full-scale treatment plants, and offers comprehensive offsite and onsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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Lithium Extraction and Refining Battery-grade lithium with low energy processing Request More Information Lithium Brochure PDF MVR LiOH Crystallizer Spec Sheet Saltworks brings water mining expertise and advanced desalination technologies

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Photo of a full-scale SaltMaker MVR Plant

SaltMaker MVR & MSF Evaporative Crystallizers

Achieve true zero liquid discharge (ZLD) with forced circulation evaporative crystallizer options. SaltMaker MVR requires only electrical power to operate, while SaltMaker MSF operates from thermal energy, including waste heat sources as low as 80°C.

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Lithium Ion Battery Recycling

From electronics to electric vehicles, the world increasingly runs on lithium ion technology. Recycling lithium ion batteries closes the loop on valuable production materials including lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Saltworks’ advanced water processing and resource extraction technologies contribute to multiple parts of the battery recycling flow.

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Battery Grade Lithium Icon

99.9% Purity Battery-Grade Lithium Hydroxide

Saltworks is pleased to announce the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from an industrial wastewater. Saltworks’ process harvests lithium hydroxide solids that reach or exceed battery-grade specifications.

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Ceramic Ultrafiltration: a Workhouse in Industrial Desalination, Manufacturing and More

Photo of an XtremeUF Full-Scale Plant

Ceramic Ultrafiltration: a Workhouse in Industrial Desalination, Manufacturing and More

Saltworks’ XtremeUF self-maintaining ceramic system finds broad applications

February 15th 2022

Saltworks Technologies recently delivered a full-scale compact and automated XtremeUF ultrafiltration system to an advanced materials manufacturing plant in the US. XtremeUF removes specific contaminants that conventional clarifiers and polymeric ultrafiltration have struggled with, either due to reliability, excessive chemical consumption, or space requirements. When appropriate and implemented correctly, ceramic ultrafiltration improves overall water balance at lower operating costs while saving valuable floor space. Saltworks has more XtremeUF systems in production, which it will be delivering this year. 

Saltworks originally developed XtremeUF technology for industrial desalination, specifically to remove precipitated scaling ions in order to enable ultra-high recovery membrane desalination (for example, recoveries up to 99%). XtremeUF is increasingly being deployed in non-desalination applications for its versatility and long-term reliability. The technology is being used to remove chemical reaction by-products in manufacturing, produce electric vehicle (EV) battery-grade inputs, and to extract and recycle constituents of value from waste streams. 

Photo of an XtremeUF Full-Scale Plant

A comprehensive, containerized, full-scale XtremeUF plant. 

Malcolm Man, Saltworks’ EVP, describes XtremeUF as “a self-cleaning robot built around widely available ceramic membrane elements. The hardened non-polymeric membranes can take a beating and our customers are not beholden to a single supplier since we use commoditized membrane elements. Saltworks’ value-add is a compact, high-quality skid with our innovative and proprietary process control that keeps the system operating at peak capacity. We are thrilled to see important industries such as manufacturing, mining, and power generation benefiting from XtremeUF.”

XtremeUF columns in a full-scale Saltworks Plant
a picture of an XtremeUF plant's vessels

Photos of XtremeUF vessels contained within a full-scale plant. 

Ultrafiltration Technical Background 

Ultrafiltration (UF) removes total suspended solids (TSS) from waters with particle sizes from 0.05 to 1.2 microns. There are two broad types of UF—ceramic and polymeric—with many variants within. Both have a specific fit case. For general guidance, polymeric ultrafiltration is well suited to waters with TSS around 100 mg/L and no harmful organics or chemicals (for example, river water). Ceramic UF costs more than polymeric UF but treats more challenging waters—such as those with TSS around 100 times higher (10,000 mg/L), wider pH and temperature ranges, and with more complex organics—without impacts on membrane longevity.

Saltworks’ works with clients to support the selection of the correct UF system for each project, understanding the fit case, cost, and trade-offs of both polymeric and ceramic UF. XtremeUF can be paired with a BrineRefine system to alter water chemistry, extract valuable resources, or enable ultra-high recovery reverse osmosis by removing scaling ions. Saltworks welcomes new challenges and owns a fleet of mobile automated pilot plants ready for dispatch. To learn more about XtremeUF and ultrafiltration, reach out to a Saltworks expert.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability on challenging waters. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks designs, builds, and operates full-scale treatment plants, and offers comprehensive offsite and onsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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XtremeUF Ceramic Ultrafiltration System

XtremeUF Ceramic Ultrafiltration

Ceramic membrane ultrafiltration systems have advanced greatly. Saltworks’ XtremeUF filters particles with a size range of about 0.01 to 1 µm, including oils, grease, precipitated by-products, bacteria, viruses, and suspended solids.

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Saltworks Joins Yale, EPRI, Oak Ridge National Labs in NAWI Research

NAWI Logo Symbol

Saltworks Joins Yale, EPRI, and Oak Ridge National Labs in NAWI Research

Project to focus on lowering industrial water re-use costs

December 9th 2021

Saltworks is excited to announce that it is part of a new National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) research team that includes Yale University, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The team is advancing a project to improve water recovery in membrane brine concentrators, building on Saltworks’ expertise in delivering ultra-high water recovery plants for industrial clients. Today, Saltworks is already boosting the industry standard 80% membrane system recovery to over 98% recovery on scaling industrial flows, enabling a step-change in cost and energy reduction for downstream thermal concentrators and crystallizers. The team’s research was proposed collaboratively, based on Saltworks’ customer-driven R&D.

The project will be led by Menachem Elimelech, Sterling Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University. Prof. Elimelech is one of the world’s leading experts in membrane-based desalination having authored more than 450 refereed journal publications, including articles in Science and Nature. Other expert leaders on the project include Prof. Minjiang Zhong (Yale) and Dr. Vyacheslav Bryantsev (Oak Ridge).

“Saltworks has seen extraordinary demand for its high recovery solutions,” said Saltworks’ COO, Joshua Zoshi. “We offer commercial systems today but are an innovation firm at our core. We are therefore thrilled to be working with leading experts on this important NAWI project. If successful, the outcomes will benefit the desalination and industrial wastewater treatment industries as a whole.”  

About NAWI

The National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) brings together a world-class team of industry and academic partners to examine the critical technical barriers and research needed to radically lower the cost and energy of desalination. NAWI is funded by the US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Advanced Manufacturing Office to address barriers to desalination.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability on challenging waters. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks designs, builds, and operates full-scale treatment plants, and offers comprehensive offsite and onsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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Ultra-High Recovery at Full-Scale: RO and EDR Plants Shipped

Saltworks XtremeRO Plant Vessels

Ultra-High Recovery at Full-Scale: RO and EDR Plants Shipped

Industrial Wastewater Treatment With Advanced Membrane Technologies

October 20th 2021

Saltworks is excited to announce the shipment of two membrane-based industrial wastewater treatment plants. Although electrodialysis reversal (EDR) and reverse osmosis (RO) may be viewed as competing desalination technologies, Saltworks offers both and helps clients navigate the fit case for each. Both plants achieve extreme freshwater recoveries thanks to the advanced technology embedded within them.

Saltworks’ FlexEDR was selected to treat a client’s industrial wastewater effluent containing challenging organics. The mobile plant will be shipped to South America. FlexEDR was chosen after a competitive review against reverse osmosis (RO) due to Flex EDR’s more robust membranes. This reduces pre-treatment requirements and simplifies plant operations for challenging wastewaters. Typically, EDR is most effective at trimming total dissolved solids and reducing pre-treatment requirements. Saltworks also offers a unique selective EDR that acts as a ‘chloride kidney’ on process flows. On the other hand, RO is more effective at bulk removal of almost all constituents and meeting a stricter treated water quality specification.

FlexEDR E150 Stack with Transparent Background
FlexEDR stack inside a full-scale treatment plant.
Photo of a FlexEDR stack in a full-scale plant with a Saltworks Engineer
FlexEDR-plant-with-team-1

Photos of the FlexEDR E150 stacks contained within the plant (left and centre-left), a Saltworks Engineer inspecting one of the plant’s FlexEDR stacks (centre-right), and the project team with the plant behind it (right). 

Saltworks’ XtremeRO was selected for the second plant — designed and built to treat saline water for use in an industrial process. Delivered in two fully modular, fully automated, low footprint skids, the plant uses our sophisticated XtremeRO high pressure reverse osmosis technology and is capable of achieving extraordinarily high recoveries. Higher recovery means less brine waste, reduced liabilities, and more freshwater for re-use by the client. A polish RO was included to meet a high-quality treated water specification.  

Saltworks XtremeRO Plant Vessels
XtremeRO plant RO vessels
XtremeRO and Ultrafiltration Skids with Saltworks Engineers

Photos of the reverse osmosis plant including a close-up, internal view of four XtremeRO reverse osmosis vessels in the reverse osmosis skid (left), the reverse osmosis skid (centre), and the chemical and ultrafiltration pre-treatment skid in the foreground (right). 

A Tale of Two Treatment Technologies

Both EDR and RO remove dissolved salts. Considerations of pretreatment requirements, final treatment goals, membrane health, the total cost of ownership, and risk factors are all important before deciding on one membrane technology platform over the other. Desalination solution providers with expertise in both membrane technologies are well-positioned to help customers navigate solutions, trade-offs, and select the right platform for their needs.

 

Saltworks offers advanced EDR and RO platforms, with industry-leading water recoveries. Our water treatment expertise, pilot fleet, and full-scale production also include thermal and chemical technologies. Reach out to Saltwork’s technical experts to learn more.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability on challenging waters. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks designs, builds, and operates full-scale treatment plants, and offers comprehensive offsite and onsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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99.9% Purity Battery-Grade Lithium Hydroxide

Battery Grade Lithium Icon

99.9% Purity of Battery-Grade Lithium Hydroxide From Wastewater

Saltworks economically produces battery-grade lithium from waste

September 16th 2021

Saltworks is pleased to announce the successful production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from industrial wastewater.

Wastewaters from some industries contain lithium in meaningful concentrations. However, economically extracting battery-grade lithium has previously been challenging.

High-Quality Lithium Solids From Industrial Wastewater

“Battery-grade lithium solids are projected to be in short supply as the world’s energy economy turns to lithium ion batteries for transport, grid storage, and more. Today’s announcement is an important milestone—our process opens the door to industrial wastewater becoming a viable source of battery-grade lithium,” said Joshua Zoshi, Saltworks’ COO.

Saltworks’ process harvests lithium hydroxide solids that reach or exceed battery-grade specifications, as confirmed by chemical analysis performed by a third party accredited laboratory. Concentrations of impurities and contaminants were all below industry standard levels, as indicated in a summary table. A detailed composition report of the solids and processing costs may be shared upon request.

Saltworks’ solutions treat a wide variety of industrial wastewaters. The company is applying its next generation technologies to harvesting ions of value from these waters. Last year, Saltworks helped a client recover cobalt, in short supply globally and considered by some to be a conflict mineral.

Wastewater Lithium Extraction Advantages

Attaching lithium production to existing industrial operations has several compelling benefits, including:

  1. Lithium-containing water is already available, so there is no need for new permits, drilling, or water conveyance.
  2. Many operators have re-use or disposal options available for spent lithium brine, so there is no need for new evaporation ponds or disposal wells because no additional wastewater is generated.
  3. Lastly, industrial operators have established financial, engineering, and project delivery capabilities, making wastewater extraction easier to roll out at scale.

In general, harvesting lithium from wastewater involves two steps:

  1. Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE): lithium is absorbed and desorbed onto a material using chemical processes, ultimately producing a lithium chloride solution of low quality, but with ten times higher lithium concentration than the original wastewater. A wide variety of DLE technologies exist or are being developed. Saltworks is technology agnostic concerning DLE processes and works with clients to select the best one for their project.
  2. Lithium Upgrading and Refining: the low quality lithium chloride solution is processed into high quality battery grade lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide. This is where Saltworks’ core technologies come into play and offer significant advantages to clients.

Outlook for Wastewater Lithium Extraction

Given these results and the increased promise of lithium harvesting, Saltworks is now undertaking further study of wastewater lithium harvest and economics in wastewaters with lithium in excess of 70 mg/L, sustained flow rates greater than 1000 m3/day, and where existing infrastructure can be leveraged. Reach out to the Saltworks team to learn more.

About Saltworks’ Lithium Solutions

Saltworks is a technology provider to the lithium industry and not a resource company. We provide our advanced proprietary lithium refining and upgrading technology, working with the best partners and off-the-shelf technologies. We develop and package entire systems, custom designed to meet client needs. Our fleet of pilot plants is ready for dispatch while our senior scientists and engineers are pleased to help clients work toward their lithium goals using their expertise in water recovery and lithium processing. This includes producing battery grade outputs, developing full scale plant designs and costs, and delivering lithium processing technology.

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Membrane Pilot Achieves 98% Water Recovery in Southeast Asia

Photo of XtremeRO pilot onsite in SEA

Membrane Pilot Achieves 98% Water Recovery in Southeast Asia

Complex Manufacturing Wastewater Treated by Ultra-High Pressure Reverse Osmosis

July 6th 2021

Saltworks’ Advanced Membrane Plant Goes Intercontinental

Our ultra-high recovery membrane pilot plant has successfully completed another tour of duty. After arriving in Southeast Asia earlier this year, the plant operated continuously around-the-clock for 90 days, achieving 98% water recovery from a complex, mixed industrial wastewater with high organics and variable water chemistry.

 

The advanced pilot plant crossed the Pacific Ocean with a quick turnaround after its cooling tower blowdown trial at an agri-chem facility—for which Saltworks is now designing and building a full-scale, permanent installation.

Photo of XtremeRO pilot onsite in SEA
Photo of XtremeRO pilot onsite in SEA

Ultra-High Recovery Expertise and Technologies, On-Site for Saltworks’ Clients 

Our expert pilot team operated the plant both on-site and remotely despite the ongoing international challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. High performance Nitto HYDRANAUTICSTM PRO-XP1 membranes were once again employed to great effect, as well as Saltworks’ advanced process technologies that enabled the membranes to perform: BrineRefineXtremeUFScaleSense, and XtremeRO.

 

The system treated variable water quality originating from multiple streams, consistently achieving 98% recovery and concentrating a sodium sulfate-rich brine to over 200,000 mg/L total dissolved solids (TDS). The 2% brine volume is small enough such that direct solidification becomes viable, avoiding the need for an energy intensive evaporator-crystallizer.

 

As the need for ultra-high recovery industrial water recycling grows, our production facility is bustling with full-scale build-outs of XtremeUF, XtremeRO, FlexEDR, and SaltMaker plants. End user industries include range from microelectronics to brackish water desalination, lithium refining, and oil and gas processing.

 

If you have an industrial water challenge, the Saltworks team is ready to run an options and cost analysis for you. If you are interested in a virtual tour of our production and pilots, contact us. 

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability on challenging waters. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks designs, builds, and operates full-scale treatment plants, and offers comprehensive offsite and onsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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Automotive Manufacturing Water Treatment

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Recycling Wastewater with FlexEDR for a Chilean Heavy Industry Client

Flex EDR Stack Inside a Saltworks Water Treatment Plant

Recycling Wastewater With FlexEDR for a Chilean Heavy Industry Client

Treating Industrial Wastewater for Reuse and Keeping Pretreatment Costs Down With EDR

March 24th 2021

Saltworks’ FlexEDR electrodialysis reversal technology has been selected by a heavy industry client located in Chile to recycle their wastewater. The FlexEDR system, provided in partnership with Chile’s VIGAflow, will use Saltworks’ proprietary IonFlux ion exchange membranes. FlexEDR and IonFlux represent the next generation of EDR technology with high resilience against harmful organics, including solvents, and the ability to perform selective monovalent ion separations, such as chloride removal. These features provide cost-optimized treatment for industrial water reuse, without complex pretreatment processes.

Photo of a Saltworks Engineer Inspecting Ion Exchange Membranes
Inspection of Ion Exchange Membranes for FlexEDR
FlexEDR Stack Production for Desalination of Industrial Wastewaters.
Assembly of Membranes in a FlexEDR Stack
Flex EDR Stack Inside a Saltworks Water Treatment Plant
Assembled FlexEDR Stack

EDR and RO: Broad Membrane Desalination Expertise Reaps Rewards

As national and regional governments increasingly protect their river basins and aquatic ecosystems, industry is also investing by recycling wastewater, reducing both discharges and freshwater extraction. Sustainability and industrial wastewater recycling are most definitely on the rise, with membrane technologies playing a leading role.

Electrodialysis reversal (EDR) and reverse osmosis (RO) are the two leading membrane desalination technologies, with RO dominating market share. Saltworks delivers ultra-high recovery and low energy versions of both EDR and RO. We also offer chemical conditioning systems to remove scaling ions where needed, and evaporative-crystallizers to accomplish zero liquid discharge.

We help clients understand their options, including the costs, pros, and cons of each. If you want to learn more about how to recycle your industrial wastewater, please contact Saltworks.

About VIGAflow

VIGAflow is a leader in the water treatment industry, focused on desalination and reuse. VIGAflow was founded in 2002 with the purpose of offering concrete and quality results to clients with commitment to maintaining those results over time with service. With a team of process specialists, engineers, and mechanics, VIGAflow designs tailor-made solutions, manufactured in Chile using state-of-the-art technologies and high-quality components. VIGAflow’s flexibility, local capacity, and delivery times allow them to ensure their client’s sustainability in terms of water availability and quality.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability on challenging waters. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks designs, builds, and operates full-scale treatment plants, and offers comprehensive offsite and onsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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FlexEDR stack inside a full-scale treatment plant.

FlexEDR Electrodialysis Reversal System

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Saltworks Scores a Lithium Hat-Trick

Saltworks Lithium Refining

Saltworks Scores a Lithium Hat-Trick

Three Major Developments for Saltworks' Lithium Solutions

December 15th 2020

Lithium’s future has never been so bright, powering mobile devices, electric vehicles and more. Lithium is helping to enable the low carbon economy, however its extraction and refining into battery grade inputs needs to be economic as well as “green” and “blue” to prevent an environmentally damaging supply chain.

 

Our water mining expertise and advanced desalination technologies are proving to be a perfect fit for lithium clients. To that end, Saltworks is delighted to announce a hat-trick of lithium wins:

  • A Fortune 500 company and new entrant to the lithium industry selected Saltworks to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide solids.
  • A leading lithium company hired Saltworks to design, build, and help operate their plant, producing better-than-battery quality (>99.9% purity) lithium carbonate (more on this below).
  • Oil & Gas companies are entering the lithium space too. We recently completed a contract helping an oil & gas company scale their lithium extraction process.

Saltworks’ Comprehensive Lithium Solutions

Production of high purity lithium ion battery inputs requires advanced, well-controlled processes. To keep the environmental footprint low, lithium yield needs to be maximized to prevent the waste of lithium and water, while consumption of energy and chemicals needs to be minimized. Saltworks is at the forefront of cost-optimized, high purity, high yield lithium processing technology, with custom solutions fitted to each source’s needs. Most of our systems operate downstream of another firms’ direct lithium extraction (DLE) process that produces low grade lithium chloride with impurities. Our water refining acumen and products turn the low-grade inputs into valued, battery grade outputs.

We were thrilled to see the plant we built for a lithium mining client, now producing exceptional quality lithium carbonate, highlighted at mining.com. We are proud to help our clients achieve their goals with the technology, diligence, speed, and flexibility they need.

 

Saltworks is eager to add value to the low carbon economy while also supporting traditional resource extraction industries. In the lithium space, we provide rapid total system mass and energy balance modelling, pilot testing, demonstration plants, and full-scale commercial plants, all from our headquarters in Richmond, BC. Please see our new lithium industry brochure or the related resources below to learn more, or contact our desalination and lithium experts directly with your project details.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability on challenging waters. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks designs, builds, and operates full-scale treatment plants, and offers comprehensive offsite and onsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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99% Membrane System Recovery on Scaling Cooling Tower Blowdown

99% recovery membrane-pilot cooling tower blowdown UHPRO

99% Membrane System Recovery on Scaling Cooling Tower Blowdown

Removing the Need for an Evaporation Pond, Saving Water, and Reducing-GHG Emissions

November 16th 2020

First-of-its-Kind Ultra-High Recovery Membrane System

Reverse osmosis-based brine concentrators are reaching new performance levels not seen before. Saltworks is pleased to report that a substantial pilot plant is currently demonstrating 99% freshwater recovery on cooling tower blowdown (CTB). CTB enters the treatment plant nearly saturated in scaling ions, which would limit recoveries to 80% for RO plants — not good enough to solve this site’s water balance needs.

 

How did the plant reach 99% recovery? We started with an 80% recovery conventional solution and then bolted on our turbo-chargers: Saltworks’ BrineRefine and Saltworks’ XtremeRO, utilizing Nitto HYDRANAUTICSTM PRO-XP1 reverse osmosis membranes.

 

BrineRefine removes scaling ions, enabling reverse osmosis (RO) to reach its osmotic pressure limits without scaling or fouling. With the scaling ions removed and Nitto-Hydranautics membranes inside, XtremeRO concentrates the water — first at 1200 psi (seawater RO) and then at 1800 psi (UHP-RO). The 99% permeate can be reused by the client, which enables the industrial facility to drastically reduce river water withdrawal in a drought-sensitive region. The ultra-high recovery with 1% brine prevents the need for a more costly and energy-intensive thermal evaporator, potentially controversial evaporation pond expansions, or GHG-intensive trucking of wastewater.

99% recovery membrane-pilot cooling tower blowdown
A Saltworks Engineer Operating the Plant On-Site
UHPRP Pilot Plant 99% Recovery on Blowdown
Containerized Plant Ready-to-Ship

Saltworks has successfully demonstrated UHP RO on various customer applications including mining waters, factory wastewater, ion exchange regeneration waste, and cooling tower blowdown. This pilot plant, jointly developed with Nitto Hydranautics, is packaged and ready-to-go in two 40’ ISO shipping containers for portability and ease of site setup. Full-scale systems including UHP RO are being produced at Saltworks’ advanced manufacturing plant in Richmond, BC, Canada.

99% recovery membrane-pilot cooling tower blowdown
Plant On-Site Treating Cooling Tower Blowdown at a Power Station

We would love to help you achieve your water goals. Whether you seek conventional or advanced solutions, we can help. Contact us to learn more about treating cooling tower blowdown or other challenging waters. Let us know if your team is interested in a webinar to learn about the latest in advanced membrane systems, selective ion removal, or zero liquid discharge (ZLD).

About Nitto

Nitto is Japan’s leading diversified materials manufacturer. Based on four core technologies: adhesion, coating, polymer function control, and polymer analysis & evaluation, Nitto provides customers with various products such as polarizing films for displays, industrial adhesive tapes, reverse osmosis membranes for desalination and transdermal drug delivery patches. Under the brand slogan of “Innovation for Customers”, Nitto is contributing to a better life by solving social issues and improving corporate value.

 

Hydranautics is a part of the Nitto Group and one of the global leaders in the field of integrated membrane solutions. Hydranautics offers complete membrane solutions like reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration for water, wastewater and process treatment and applications. For further information on Nitto and Hydranautics, kindly visit www.nitto.com and www.membranes.com.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. By working with customers to understand their unique challenges and focusing on continuous innovation, Saltworks’ solutions provide best-in-class performance and reliability on challenging waters. From its headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, Saltworks designs, builds, and operates full-scale treatment plants, and offers comprehensive offsite and onsite testing services with its fleet of mobile pilots.

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