Beneficial and Nontraditional Uses of Concentrate
Jim Jordahl, Ph.D., CH2M HILL, Inc.
Production of low-salinity water from desalination of brackish and seawater results in a byproduct termed “concentrate,” having significantly increased total dissolved solids (TDS) relative to the source water. Concentrate must be properly disposed of, and this disposal is becoming increasingly problematic as the size and number of desalination plants increase. Costs associated with concentrate disposal will become a growing fraction of total membrane plant costs, and difficulties with finding a viable concentrate disposal method have led to the delay and even cancellation of some membrane plant projects. New technical and regulatory approaches to concentrate disposal are desperately needed.
A number of emerging potential beneficial and nontraditional uses of concentrate have been identified, but these generally are either not well-proven or do not provide a final discharge for salts contained in concentrate. Clearly, there is no panacea for concentrate discharge, but it may be possible to develop creative local options for beneficial use. A combination of methods, such as linking more conventional options with beneficial or nontraditional uses, may be the most cost-effective and can provide redundancy, reliability, and potentially some ancillary benefits. (2006, 346 pages, 02-006b-01)
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