Reverse osmosis (RO) has been widely used for seawater desalination. However, as brine minimization and near-zero liquid discharge become crucial, both to mitigate the impact of seawater brine discharges and to deal with complex industrial wastewaters, we are seeing technology providers push RO to its limits. In the past, using RO for brine treatment has been limited by the increase in osmotic pressure with salinity, which lowers membrane flux, forcing operators to increase energy consumption and opex. The other issues are scaling ions and organic fouling, which reduce the life of membranes, permanently reduce flux and decrease recovery rates, and increase brine volumes.
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