Remove Sulfates from Wastewater

SulfateSelect removes sulfates from wastewater, in some cases without brine by-products, thereby removing the expense of brine management. We offer a suite of sulfate processes, leveraging industrialized unit operations, arranged for cost effective and intelligent optimized operation.
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Sulfate Experts

If you need to meet a sulfate discharge limit, we very likely have a solution for you. Every sulfate situation is different, so your sulfate challenge first deserves a dedicated review from our experts, to see how sulfates may be most economically treated using industrialized water treatment technologies. 


Once a review is complete, most of our clients’ sulfate removal needs can be classified into high- and low- total dissolved solids (TDS) waters, described below. We have solutions for both, adjusted to your unique wastewater, including our new SulfateSelect solution family for low TDS wastewaters. 

Upstream Pre-Treatment for Saltworks Flex EDR Electrodialysis Reversal Pilot Plant.
SaltMaker ChilledCrys, High Level PFD

Solutions for High TDS

High TDS sulfate-laden waters (TDS~80,000–200,000 mg/L) often contain predominantly sodium sulfate: SO42- ~60,000–120,000 mg/L. To treat them, you can take advantage of two unique properties of sodium sulfate:

  1. Low osmotic pressure: concentrate sodium sulfate solutions to over 200,000 mg/L with our XtremeRO 1800 ultra-high pressure RO systems
  2. Steep solubility-temperature relationship: crystallize sodium sulfate decahydrate in our SaltMaker ChilledCrys , reducing TDS to 100,000 mg/L and enabling additional cycles with XtremeRO 1800.

Approaches for Low TDS

Low TDS waters (1,500–5,000 mg/L) are often saturated in calcium sulfate: SO4 ~1,800 mg/L. To optimize your costs, you should:

  • Avoid treating the entire flow —treating a portion and blending is operationally less intensive and less costly, especially if the sulfate load varies seasonally.
  • Avoid brine management—liquid brine can result in high post-processing expense, or large storage volumes and associated liabilities. Although if you have a pond to store brine, we can help you to minimize its volume.

If sulfate and metals are your only treatment concern, then you may be able to avoid brine management costs with our SulfateSelect (patent pending) process.

Our BrineRefine system performs chemical treatment in a smart, automated way.

Introducing SulfateSelect

SulfateSelect is our flexible solution family for sulfates, customizable for treating your water. It combines the two most accepted sulfate treatment technologies—membranes and precipitation—in one comprehensive package with integrated operation and control. It adds value by:

  • Significantly limiting chemical costs, in some cases to only 10% of conventional approaches
  • Employing reverse osmosis and nanofiltration while purging sulfates from the NF or RO brine, enabling blending and achieving zero liquid discharge (ZLD) without the hassle of a thermal evaporative crystallizer.

The result is a cost-effective process that does not generate a liquid brine by-product. After all, the best way to achieve ZLD is to avoid it all together.

SulfateSelect Options

SulfateSelect is comprised of one or more of the following industrialized product lines:

  • ScaleSense Sulfate Sensor: measure sulfates in real-time to enable precision blending, dosing, and performance-cost optimization on variable flows
  • Nanofiltration (NF): Reject sulfates to a concentrated brine, while passing sodium, chloride, and in some cases silica through to a permeate, which in some cases may then be released.
  • Reverse osmosis (RO): Reject all TDS to a concentrated brine, generating freshwater permeate.
  • BrineRefine phys-chem precipitation: precipitate sulfates as a solid filter cake. The precipitation pathway changes project-by-project, so let’s get started on an assessment today.
Our ScaleSense Real-Time Sensor

SulfateSelect Related Products

XtremeRO/NF Brine 


Xtreme Reverse Osmosis device Saltworks Technologies

Next-generation water-maker and brine-concentrator based on reverse osmosis that achieves extreme freshwater recoveries, enabling cost-effective brine management and treatment of challenging organic-laden waters including oil & gas produced waters.

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BrineRefine Chemical Softening System

Chemical Softening System called Brine Refine

Smart, compact, modular chemical softening system that reduces costs with precision dosing and built-in solids management. Improves recovery and minimizes fouling risk with intelligent controls that communicate with downstream assets, like RO or evaporators.

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An automated, real-time sensor for saline waters that measures calcium (Ca2+), barium (Ba2+), sulfate (SO42-) ions and silica (SiO2). ScaleSense is robust and corrosion-resistant and functions accurately and precisely, even at extremely high-TDS.


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The first evaporator-crystallizer with no atmospheric contact, important for water with volatile organics. Choose between no liquid water return or clean water that is safe for discharge.


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SulfateSelect Related Resources

Sulfate Discharge: Measurement and Cost-Optimized Removal

There are many sulfate treatments available, with different advantages and disadvantages. Factors for consideration include capital and operational costs, solid Vs. liquid brine reject for disposal, if the need is seasonal or year-round, and suitability for adverse operating conditions.

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Sulfate Removal

Learn More Request More Information Many industrial processes produce or depend on sulfates. Sulfates can be regulated in some discharges and require cost-effective management. Saltworks can help you to monitor and moderate sulfate

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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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