Membrane distillation is an innovative technology for the concentration of saline and corrosive wastewater. SolarSpring GmbH has developed a new type of module within the HighCon project which has many advantages.
With membrane distillation, saline and corrosive wastewater can be concentrated to a very high level, close to the saturation limit. Thus, the amount of wastewater can be reduced and valuable resources can be recovered.
For the requirements from the HighCon project, a completely new membrane distillation module type in plate design was developed. The significant innovation of the new MD module type is the separation of heating and cooling from the feed water channel. This results in two very significant advantages over the old channel arrangement. The saline feed water is now only in contact with a minimum number of components. Thus, the number of system components that must be resistant to the sometimes corrosive or aggressive feedwater is very low in this new module. Another important advantage, also resulting from the new configuration, is the possibility to adjust the final concentration of the feed water in the single pass independently of the heating and cooling flow. This is of high importance especially in chains of processes to keep the plant complexity lower.
The benefit for the potential user groups lies in the solution of individual problems in handling saline concentrates and wastewater. Here, membrane distillation can fulfill application tasks that were previously not possible in a single system. In particular, the possibility of flexible integration of membrane distillation into another system or connection to a process chain, as demonstrated in this project, is an advantage over other processes.