Saltworks Scores a Lithium Hat-Trick

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 Standard Lithium, now producing exceptional quality lithium carbonate, highlighted at mining.com — view pictures of the plant and high purity lithium carbonate produced. 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 modeling, 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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Lithium Extraction and Refining

Lithium projects from concept to full-scale reality Request More Information Lithium Brochure PDF Saltworks’ brings water mining expertise and advanced desalination technologies to our lithium clients, offering solutions for concentrating,

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Membrane Pilot Achieves 99% Cooling Tower Blowdown Recovery

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.

A Saltworks Engineer Operating the Plant On-Site
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.

PXL_20201106_202130265-cropped-1
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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Cooling Tower Blowdown

Cooling Tower Blowdown

Request More Information Learn More Saltworks can solve your cooling tower blowdown challenges. We can add novel sensors and controls to your cooling tower to minimize water consumption and blowdown

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Competing Against Ourselves: BrineRefine ousts RO in a Mining Project

Chemical Treatment BrineRefine for Mining

Competing Against Ourselves: BrineRefine Ousts RO in a Mining Project

A Full-Scale, Cost-Optimized, Targeted Ion Treatment Plant Ships to a USA Mining Client

September 21st 2020

Targeting Specific Ions: An IonSelect Solution

We’re extremely proud of our essential workers—engineering, production, and supply chain—who are doing an exemplary job keeping our factory running safely and with minimal disruption during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to their efforts, we are delighted to announce the shipping of a full-scale BrineRefine treatment plant to a mining client, as part of our IonSelect solutions.

 

The BrineRefine plant is destined for a US mining site with a specific ion-of-concern problem. The client originally contacted us because of our ultra-high recovery reverse osmosis (RO) expertise, but we realized that a simpler, lower cost solution was a better fit for their treatment needs. Rather than treat all ions in the water as RO does, the BrineRefine plant targets specific ions-of-concern through our IonSelect solution set. The result is no RO-brine liquid waste to manage; instead, a very small mass of residuals is generated that can be easily handled on site. It also means lower capital and operating costs because the core problem is surgically targeted, as opposed to treating the entire flow.

 

Our IonSelect family of targeted solutions is not a fit for every project, but helps many operators to save considerable costs and fuss associated with brine management. Saltworks’ engineers are ready to run competitive assessments on all options and pilot test as needed, so that our customers can make informed decisions.

Chemical Treatment BrineRefine for Mining
Saltworks Engineer Operating the Full-Scale BrineRefine Plant
full scale chemical treatment plant shipped
Full-Scale Plant on the Saltworks Factory Floor

Engineering for Automation and Resilience

Saltworks has always been focused on designing sophisticated systems with robust controls. In these challenging times of distancing and disruption, we know that system resilience and low-maintenance reliability have become even more important in wastewater treatment. The BrineRefine plant—like all our solutions—is highly automated, with minimal need for human intervention or downtime.

 

Our history of packaging entire plants in ISO-size frames also helps our customers minimize site work. They place the pre-tested plant blocks, connect them, and then start them up with our support. Everything needed is built-in and on site contractor work is minimized.

full scale chemical treatment plant shipped
Packed for Shipping: BrineRefine Full-Scale Plant Frame 1 of 2

Reach Out to Us: We’re Ready to Engineer for Your Treatment Goals

Contact us to learn more about targeted, cost-effective treatment solutions with in-built automation. Are you a prospective or existing customer? Let us know if you are interested in a webinar, we would be delighted to discuss our wastewater treatment solutions with you and your team.

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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Mine Water Treatment

Request More Information Learn More We provide comprehensive solutions for mining waters. We can help you to remove problem contaminants, treat mine waters, achieve minimal liquid discharge (MLD) or zero

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BrineRefine modern chemical softening

BrineRefine Chemical Softening

Chemical softening system for scaling ion removal Request More Information Download Spec Sheet BrineRefine is a smart, compact, and modular chemical softening system. It reduces chemical softening costs with precision

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ZLD Without Evaporation: Saltworks Achieves First ZLD With a Membrane Crystallizer

chilledcrys membrane crystallizer salt

ZLD Without Evaporation: Saltworks Achieves First ZLD With a Membrane Crystallizer

A Cost-Effective ZLD Solution for a Mining Client

September 2nd 2020

A New Kind of ZLD

Convention teaches that zero liquid discharge (ZLD) crystallizers require the energy-intensive boiling of water to produce solids. Our engineers recently broke that convention and helped a mining client achieve solid salt production in a novel membrane-chiller hybrid plant. The pilot project used ultra-high pressure reverse osmosis (UHP-RO) technology to replace a thermal evaporator; providing the client with an option for lower capital and operating costs over a conventional thermal ZLD option (which Saltworks also builds).

How did we do it?

Our engineers hybridized UHP-RO with a chilled crystallizer system, in a semi-closed loop that concentrates water, extracts solid salt, and repeats the cycle. The UHP-RO system can concentrate certain salts (e.g. sodium sulfate) to over 20% by mass. Examples of suitable ions include: Na+, K+, NH4+, CO32-, and SO42-. The concentrated brine solution then enters our chilled crystallizer, which takes advantage of steep solubility changes with temperature. There, the solution cools, resulting in the formation of salt crystals, which can be separated and removed. 

 

After cooling and salt extraction, the residual brine liquor has a lower dissolved salt content (~10%) and can be warmed up and recycled once again through the UHP-RO system. A heat pump is used to simultaneously cool one part of the circuit while heating the other — presenting considerable energy efficiency savings. As the loop operates, it continuously produces reverse osmosis quality permeate and solid salt crystals, while being replenished with make-up wastewater. No boiling means less energy consumed and lower costs.

chilled crystallizer salt
Sodium Sulfate: An Example of a Steep Solubility-Temperature Curve
CC_Salt-cropped-1
ZLD Without Evaporation: Solids Produced by our New ChilledCrys System

Contact Us With Specific Chemistry

The ChilledCrys membrane crystallizer system is not a silver bullet, suitable for all brines. However, for certain saltwater brines found in industry (e.g. sodium sulfate scrubber wastewaters), ChilledCrys can present considerable cost and energy savings. As with most things in water: it depends on the chemistry. Highly soluble ions will not crystallize through chilling, and organics or silica that accumulate require extraction. We have solutions and our engineers are ready to run detailed assessments for your water challenges. Contact us with your chemistry for an assessment. Find out if ChilledCrys can provide your project with the step change in ZLD costs that many are seeking.

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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SaltMaker ChilledCrys

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Selective Ion Removal Solutions: SilicaSelect

Saltworks Effects in Production

Selective Ion Removal Solutions: SilicaSelect

Remove Silica from Water to Increase RO Recovery, Decrease Cooling Tower Blowdown, and more

July 6th 2020

Announcing SilicaSelect

Saltworks proudly announces SilicaSelect, part of our IonSelect Solution family. It selectively targets silica in wastewaters while keeping treatment footprint and costs down.

 

Silica can wreak havoc in water systems. It precipitates at very low concentrations (~0.01%) and can block membranes or scale cooling towers. Trimming silica levels can enable reprocessing of the wastewater, resulting in more water conserved and less waste brine.

 

We combined two of our existing technologies—ScaleSense selective ion sensor and BrineRefine chemical softening system—into a tidy package that will remove up to 98% of silica from wastewaters. As a positive side effect, SilicaSelect also de-saturates gypsum (calcium sulfate).

 

SilicaSelect is a standard packaged product with one size: 20’ skid, and one capacity: 120 m3/day. Use it to reduce silica loads in much larger flows: for example, remove 20% of silica from 600 m3/day, boosting RO recovery or cooling tower cycles. See our SilicaSelect page for process flow applications.

Saltworks Effects in Production

Saltworks’ engineers are looking forward to working with customers to see where SilicaSelect can add value. If silica isn’t your only concern—or if you need higher recovery, MLD, or ZLD—we can help with that too. Contact us today for a custom webinar or project review.

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.

SilicaSelect Related Resources

silicaselect remove and treat silica in wastewater

SilicaSelect: Silica Extractor System

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real-time sensors analyzers scaling ions

Real-Time Sensing and Process Control: Introducing ScaleSense

Real-time measurement provides prompt feedback for controls. A real-time sensor can help to optimize your process, reduce risk, and minimize operational and maintenance demand. Saltworks has developed a new real-time sensor—that is simple and robust—to operate in the high-TDS range.

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Selective ion removal for brine management

IonSelect

Request More Information Learn More Targeting specific ions for removal can be the most cost-efficient way to treat a wastewater flow. Saltworks has treatment and sensing solutions available to treat

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Saltworks’ FGD Wastewater Solution Wins POWER Magazine’s Water Award 2020

FGD wastewater plant

Saltworks' FGD Wastewater Solution Wins POWER Magazine's 2020 Water Award

June 9th 2020

Saltworks is honoured to receive POWER Magazine’s 2020 Water Award for our ground-breaking ‘chloride kidney’ industrial desalination solution. This innovative technology—pilot tested at one of America’s largest coal power plants—involves a novel tweak on 50 year-old electrodialysis desalination technology.


As the world transitions its energy mix, coal-fired stations still provide over 30% of America’s electricity and 60% of China’s. Operators have installed scrubbers to remove sulfur emissions from the exhaust, driven by the need to mitigate air pollution and prevent acid rain. The air emissions are absorbed into water, ultimately generating a unique Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) wastewater.


Until now, FGD wastewater has not been widely treated due to its complex chemistry and highly scaling nature. FGD wastewater treatment can be avoided by re-using the water internally. However, this requires removing chlorides.

FGD wastewater plant
FlexEDR treatment stack

Saltworks developed a solution that removes up to 90% of chlorides from FGD wastewater, meaning that the water can be re-used rather than discharged. The solution uses Saltworks’ FlexEDR product—with proprietary monovalent-selective membranes—enabling up to 50% cost savings over alternative methods.

 

The same technology is now being tested by a major international mining company to remove chlorides and boost production from what would normally be a waste product. More information can be accessed by contacting Saltworks or visiting POWER magazine.

 

In addition to chloride removal for re-use, Saltworks also offers chemical softening, high recovery reverse osmosis, and evaporator solutions for FGD wastewater.

 

The site pilot work—proving the performance of FlexEDR as a chloride kidney—was made possible thanks to the foresight of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the support of the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, as well as advisory services and research and development funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). 

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.

FlexEDR stack

FlexEDR Selective

Request More Information Download Spec Sheet FlexEDR Selective allows you to selectively remove ions and change water chemistry. Achieved by using modernized electrodialysis reversal (EDR) with highly selective ion exchange

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coal ash pond

Coal Ash Pond Water Treatment: Technology Options

Coal ash pond water may require treatment as leached pollutants from ash pond water pose human health and ecological risks. Consider membrane concentrators, minimal liquid discharge (MLD), and zero liquid discharge (ZLD) technologies to reduce brine volumes from treating leachable pollutants.

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First Commercial Order of a Next Generation Ultra High-Pressure Reverse Osmosis (UHP RO) Industrial System

XtremeRO Brine Concentrator MLD

Next Generation Ultra High-Pressure Reverse Osmosis (UHP RO)

First Commercial Order of an Industrial System ​

May 12th 2020

UHP RO Commercialised

Saltworks is thrilled to announce the first full-scale order for an industrial Ultra High-Pressure Reverse Osmosis (UHP RO) system with Nitto high performing HYDRANAUTICSTM PRO-XP1 spiral wound membranes rated to 1,800 psi (124 bar).  

 

Ultra high-pressure RO builds on the pedigree of seawater reverse osmosis systems, but operates at a 50% higher pressure—beneficially halving the volume of brine generated. This means less waste and more clean water. Saltworks started working on UHP RO two years ago, quickly finding that HYDRANAUTICSTM membranes offered best-in-class performance. The company has since been pilot testing UHP RO on various customer applications including mining waters, factory wastewater, ion exchange regeneration waste, and cooling tower blowdown.

 

The first full scale industrial client, a US manufacturer of advanced materials, will use the system for a win-win scenario: achieving a 10× reduction in disposal volume, while recovering clean water for re-use.

Saltworks’ CEO, Ben Sparrow, commented “We see wide applications for UHP RO to help clients save money, save water, and reduce waste. As PFAS becomes more important in North America, UHP RO is set to play a significant part of in solutions, driving down waste volumes sent to disposal wells or to destruction. In our testing, HYDRANAUTICSTM membranes have out-performed expectations and enable the next generation of reverse osmosis and brine recovery.”

 

Regarding this new membrane product, Hydranautics’ VP of Technology, Dr. Craig Bartels, added “As a technological leader in the industry, Nitto has a long line of industry ‘firsts’ as well as having advanced manufacturing facilities with the latest in automation technology. The PRO-XP1 is a new ultra high-pressure product in the PRO series line, which offers novel NF and RO products for treatment of the most difficult industrial wastewater applications.”

 

Although UHP RO builds on seawater RO, it requires speciality membranes, new spiral element designs, and process-control art to enable the solution. Contact Saltworks or Nitto 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.

About Nitto

Nitto is Japan’s leading diversified materials manufacturer. Founded in 1918, Nitto’s strength is the ability to add diverse functionality to sheets, films and other materials using core technologies such as polymer synthesis, adhesion, and coating technologies. The group offers high value specialty products worldwide including optical films for liquid crystal displays, automotive materials, reverse osmosis membranes for desalination and transdermal drug delivery patches. 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 our website: www.nitto.com and www.membranes.com.

UHP RO Related Resources

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New Technology in Challenging Times: Optimize Existing Water Plant Assets With ScaleSense

scalesense sensor analyzer real-time

New Technology in Challenging Times:

Optimize Existing Water Plant Assets With ScaleSense

April 27th 2020

Announcing ScaleSense

Optimizing existing water treatment assets is the lowest cost path to incremental water production and reducing residual waste. However, many of the tools needed have not been developed—until now.

 

Saltworks announces ScaleSense: our real-time, ion-specific sensor that works on saline waters i.e. brines. By measuring scaling species live, it enables users to optimize processes in real time as conditions change—without the need for human intervention, lab work, or guesswork.

 

scalesense sensor analyzer real-time

ScaleSense Applications

With ScaleSense, it is now possible to lower capital and operational expenditure by:

  • Running reverse osmosis systems closer to their peak recovery and automatically changing that recovery as inlet water chemistry shifts, without putting membranes at risk or generating surplus brine.
  • Operating cooling towers at higher cycles, saving water usage and reducing blowdown.
  • Optimizing chemical loading and sludge production of chemical softening systems 
  • Partially bypassing and blending sulfate treatment processes

We are excited to see what other solutions people imagine as we release this novel product.

 

We developed the ScaleSense ion sensor to work without interference from other ions. We tried other solutions, but their accuracy was inadequate for the complex waters we encountered in RO brines, cooling tower blowdown, power plant wastewater treatment, mine waters, and oil & gas.

real-time sensor analyzer scaling ions

Measure Scaling Species in the Toughest Waters

ScaleSense can measure calcium (Ca2+), barium (Ba2+) or sulfate (SO42‑) ions, or silica (SiO2), real-time with repeatable accuracy. It can also measure TDS in extremely concentrated brines, where traditional conductivity meters flatline.

 

Check out our ScaleSense homepage to see sample use cases. We can package ScaleSense with our process engineering and control services, to enable customers to increase their plant smarts, improve recovery, uptime, data, and reduce waste.

 

Can you imagine a use for ScaleSense? Do you think you have incremental water “left on the table” that can be recovered? Contact us and let us figure it out.

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.

Learn More About ScaleSense

Get More Information on ScaleSense Applications & Solutions

New Membrane Brine Concentrator Plant Capable of Ultra High Recovery, PFAS Treatment, and More!

Saltworks Engineer in a Pilot Plant

New Membrane Brine Concentrator Capable of Ultra High Recovery, PFAS Treatment, and More!

Dec 17th 2019

Saltworks has started commissioning what we believe is a first-of-its-kind plant, with much customer interest. The membrane concentrator makes extensive use of reverse osmosis – turbocharged.  The turbocharging relies on:

  • BrineRefine technology to remove scaling ions, enabling downstream processing at extremely high recoveries;
  • A novel real-time calcium sensor capable of operating on challenging flows (we developed our own after off-the-shelf sensors failed to meet requirements);
  • Ultra high-pressure reverse osmosis (RO) spiral wound technology, operating at 1,800 psi (120 bar); and
  • Expert engineering and production that integrates all technologies into a tidy, intelligent package capable of operating on variable industrial flows.

Saltworks Engineer in a Pilot Plant

Together, these technologies can concentrate highly scaling brines to 130,000 mg/L total dissolved solids. This enables treating PFAS laden fluids, cooling tower blowdown, mine wastewaters, and other industrial saline waters. The plant truly minimizes brine volume sent to disposal or processed by more costly thermal technologies. In the case of PFAS, advanced oxidation or disposal may be employed downstream.

 

The plant was built with funding and technical input from a leading reverse osmosis membrane company.

 

Malcolm Man, Saltworks’ EVP, commented, “We have seen much customer demand from a wide range of industries for a proving plant that brings ultra high-pressure RO to the marketplace. Our clients seek to reduce brine volumes further, while using lower cost and lower energy off-the-shelf reverse osmosis technology. They now have a new option built into a plant that can accept and tolerate their scaling ions, chemistry variability, and robustness requirements.”

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. Founded in 2008, the Company offers thermal and membrane systems for brine concentration, zero liquid discharge, and advanced separations. 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.

XtremeRO Brine Concentrator MLD

XtremeRO/NF Reverse Osmosis & Nanofiltration

Request More Information Download Spec Sheet Our next generation reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) systems achieve extreme freshwater recoveries, minimizing brine waste and costs. Use them to make water, concentrate

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Pfas chemical structure

PFAS

Leachate and industrial water solutions Request More Information Learn More Saltworks can help with PFAS problems, integrating solutions into existing or new wastewater processes. There is no single solution for

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Boosting Oil Production through Water Treatment – A Pilot Proof Point

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Produced Water Desalination Pilot

Boosting Oil Production through Water Treatment – A Pilot Proof Point

Nov 13th 2019

The easy oil has been accessed. Increasingly firms are turning to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to boost production. This involves pumping speciality concocted water chemistries underground to push out more oil. EOR should not be confused with fracking. Fracking “vibrates” and opens reservoir passages in shale deposits. In certain types of EOR, a specialty formulated water is injected into what may have been a traditional reservoir, with the objective to “wash out” more oil. This limits surface impacts to the environment since well life can be extended, instead of drilling new wells. However, as the water travels through the reservoir it picks up underground salts, becoming saline. This added salinity hurts the speciality formulated water properties, increasing chemical costs drastically in the case of polymer flood.

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Produced Water Desalination Pilot
I: Saltworks XtremeRO pilot operating at pilot site in Southern Alberta

Saltworks developed and delivered an EOR produced water pilot, that reliably desalted the returning produced water. This saves the client notable chemical costs: more than the cost of water treatment, in some cases. Saltworks can run a project assessment to evaluate each specific case.

In addition to the cost savings, the following benefits may be achieved:

  • Water is recycled in a closed loop, rather than discarded. This reduces both water loss to disposal wells and freshwater withdrawal from the environment
  • Higher quality water is re-injected, with lower hardness and suspended solids that can plug the formation
  • Less trucking and GHGs associated with chemical delivery to site, or hauling waste produced water off site when required

Enhanced Oil Recovery Produced Water Treatment Before and After
II: Pilot Water Samples. From left to right: Produced water, Filtrate, RO Brine, RO Permeate

The pilot operated at a live polymer flood oil field in Southern Alberta with over 97% uptime, unattended overnight, and managed well through slugs of oil as high as 800 ppm entering the plant. It met all project objectives. The results provide a roadmap to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of Canada’s valued oil reserves. The work was made possible with the generous technical and financial support of Alberta Innovates and Natural Resources Canada.

 

The solution is commercially available from Saltworks under our XtremeRO product line.  It may also be applied to other waters not suited for traditional reverse osmosis technology with salinity < 80,000 mg/L total dissolved solids.

Sign-up to download a presentation report, or contact Saltworks to learn more.

About Saltworks

Saltworks Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of solutions for industrial wastewater treatment and desalination. Founded in 2008, the Company offers thermal and membrane systems for brine concentration, zero liquid discharge, and advanced separations. 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.

About Alberta Innovates

Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We provide technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity – from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, bringing together bright minds and great ideas.

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