In the context of the development of the SIX© Ion exchange process, the Dutch water company (PWN) decided to investigate options for treatment of the brine arising from the regeneration of the resin. Main goals for the brine treatment are volume reduction and product recovery (water + NaCl). In this regard a biological denitrification (DNF) aiming at total nitrate removal followed by a nanofiltration (NF) aiming at ion separation (monovalent/bivalent) focused on NaCl re-use were implemented on a pilot scale recovering 80% of the total SIX brine (implying 80%recovery of NaCl). Further NF concentrate minimization and Sodium Chloride reclamation would allow a reduction of the disposal fees and chemical uses and therefore largely increase the overall process sustainability. During operation on a pilot scale with a capacity of 250l/h, the Dynamic Vapour Recompression (DVR) technology has proved itself to be capable to reduce the raw regenerate another 6 to 10 times reaching meanwhile the solubility limits of NaCl and other salts making their recovery on a solid stream possible. The condensate that resides after DVR treatment is low contaminated and is therefore suitable for re-injection upstream the SIX pre-treatment process. Laboratory scale evaporation tests showed that salts would precipitate according to the following order: BaSO4 >BaCO3 > MgSO4 > MgCO3 >CaCO3 > CaSO4 > Na2CO3 > Na2SO4 and NaCl. A sequenced thickening by DVR treatment leads to selective precipitation of BaSO4, BaCO3, MgCO3, CaCO3 and CaSO4 at concentration factor around 8 but beyond a CF of 10 it leads to a more or less simultaneous precipitation of NaCl, Na2CO3 and Na2SO4 without fouling/clogging problems of the DVR. A reuse of a heterogeneous (co)precipitate solid fraction is difficult; however this problem could be countered by further investigation on a temperature controlled precipitation of Na2CO3 and Na2SO4. Cooling down the DVR brine saturated in dissolved sodium chloride, sulphate and bicarbonate to a temperature of 5 °C increases solubility differences between sodium chloride and its two contaminants, making their separation possible.
Further treatment of ion exchange brine with dynamic vapour recompression
E. Vaudevire, E. Koreman, G. Galjaard, R. Trommel, M. Visser; Further treatment of ion exchange brine with dynamic vapour recompression. Water Practice and Technology 1 December 2012; 7 (4): wpt2012074. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wpt.2012.074
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