First-of-Its-Kind Coal FGD Wastewater Treatment Pilot Deployed

March 12th 2019

Saltworks has shipped a novel FlexEDR system to the southern United States that will clean up coal fired power wastewater. Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater is a byproduct of sulfur scrubbers, installed to prevent acid rain from coal plants. Cost effective FGD water treatment has been an elusive goal, but a solution is on the horizon.


Saltworks’ novel system will use proprietary IonFlux ion exchange membranes to selectively remove chlorides, enabling internal recycling of water. This simple single step recycle process prevents the need for very complex and expensive full treatment. The innovation is partially enabled by a new ion-specific sensor, developed by Saltworks, that can also help miners and the oil and gas industry measure and adjust to sulfate or calcium load in real time. This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-FE0031678.

Saltworks Treatment Pilot Mobile Truck
The Saltworks' plant on the way to the southern U.S.

Derek Mandel, Technology Director for FlexEDR commented: “Nicknamed the ‘chloride kidney’ and tested for over two years, we look forward to proving the solution at site with commercial systems following shortly. The product is built on the backbone of 50-year-old Electrodialysis Reversal (EDR) technology, which is the second most widely used membrane desalination tech, with full scale production already in place.”

FGD Wastewater reuse Pilot Plant
Interior of the FlexEDR plant

After completing its U.S. tour, the plant will be sent to China. Over 60% of Chinese power still comes from coal, with increasing concern and regulatory pressure to treat FGD wastewater and protect China’s aquatic environment.  The ‘chloride kidney’ has applications outside of FGD, selectively removing troublesome ions to enable water reuse, for example in agriculture, oil refining, and gold extraction.

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.

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FlexEDR stack

FlexEDR Electrodialysis Reversal System

Request More Information Download Spec Sheet FlexEDR is an advanced electrodialysis reversal (EDR) system, leveraging our next generation ion exchange membranes. It requires less pre-treatment, tolerates oils and organics, selectively

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