Ing. Andrés Almanza R. Ing. Vilmaurora Castillo T. Ing. Elizabeth Salazar H.

Prof. Dr. – Ing. Michael Sturm

Water Supply and Demand Management.

..2................ .. Definition of osmosis.............................................4............................................................................8 3.................................. ..................2 The reverse osmosis principle................................... Spain................................................. 14 .......................................................................................................................... 8 3........................................6 2........ Cost of Desalination..........................4 2....... Introduction ...........3 2........ ........... Reverse Osmosis........................ ................................................... Uses of Reverse Osmosis..........................................................................................................................7 III.......................1................... ...1............................................. General Diagram of the Process................ ........................ 3 2.......................................3............................ Description of the Process.......Table of Contents I................. .......................................................................... ...................................... 3 II............ Bibliography ................................................ Reverse Osmosis in Málaga....5...9 IV.........................................................................................................................................6 2. Environmental challenges of Reverse Osmosis.....................................

Membranes act as perm-selective barriers that allow some species (such as water) to selectively permeate through them while selectively retaining other dissolved species (Kucera. Production capacity increased at the same time that energy consumption decreased. energy consumption for desalination by reverse osmosis was reduced to 3 kWh/m3 and has significantly contributed to the significant increase in production capacity and the ability to manage new desalination plans by applying a more energy-efficient and consolidated technology in Spain. These data are suggestive since up until the mid-nineties production capacity was approximately half a million cubic meters a day. called osmotic membrane allows only water to pass through and restricts most other elements (Osmosis and reverse osmosis. Osmosis is a natural process where water of different concentrations and separated by a semi-permeable membrane will cause the water from the diluted solution to move into the more concentrated solution. 2.Introduction In the eighties the first reverse osmosis plants were built. 2012). 2010). mainly vapor compression (VC) and resulted in important reductions in energy consumption (15 kWh/m3 for vapour compression plants and 8-10 kWh/m3 for reverse osmosis). Definition of osmosis. a great step forward was taken with the move to build reverse osmosis plants. This semi-permeable membrane. 2009) Reverse Osmosis.1. after membranes proved to work well. Reverse osmosis is a membrane-based demineralization technique used to separate dissolved solids from solution. Osmosis (Water world.5 million cubic meters daily in nearly nine hundred facilities. Through successive technical innovations in energy recovery systems. Figure 1. In the nineties. At that time they coexisted with evaporation technology. Medio Rural y Marino. making Spain the fourth producer of desalinated water in the world. 2011). a total production of 1. however. (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. . but in 2000 it exceeded a million cubic meters and five years later.

Figure 2. Types of reverse osmosis flow (Roplant. There are two main types of reverse osmosis flows: dead-end filtration and cross flow filtration. 2012). Figure 1. is exerted on the compartment that contained the high concentration solution. In cross-flow filtration. The dead-end filtration (“end flow” or “direct flow”) involves all of the feed water passing through the membrane. Reverse osmosis principle (Peerless. cross-flow filtration has one influent but two effluents. leaving the solids behind on the membrane. 2012). . feed water passes tangentially over the membrane surface rather than perpendicularly to it. Reserve osmosis is the process by which an applied pressure. Water and some dissolved solids pass through the membrane while the majority of dissolved solids and some water do not pass through the membrane.2.2 The reverse osmosis principle. forcing water to move through the semipermeable membrane in the reverse direction of the osmosis. Cross-flow helps to minimize fouling of the RO membrane. Hence. greater than the osmotic pressure. Inc.

Common membrane materials include polyamide thin film composites (TFC). cellulose acetate (CA) and cellulose triacetate (CTA) with the membrane material being spiral wound around a tube. Closing the valve will result in an overall increase in pressure driving force.The diagram below shows the cross-flow process of the reverse osmosis. Osmotic pressure is a function of the concentration of dissolved solids. the applied pressures required to achieve reverse osmosis are considerably higher than the osmotic pressure. brine. Cross flow reverse osmosis diagram (Kucera. reject. and the solution retained by the membrane is called the concentrate. The flow control valve on the concentrate stream provides the back-pressure needed to cause reverse osmosis to occur. . waste. The solution that passes through the membrane is called the permeate or product. 2012). or hollow fibres bundled together. Hollow fibre membranes have a greater surface area and hence capacity but are more easily blocked than spiral wound membranes (Advanced Environmental Technologies). and a corresponding increase of influent water that passes through the membrane to become permeate (Kucera. The diagonal inside the rectangle represents the membrane. Therefore the semi-permeable membrane must be made of pressure resistant material since it must withstand higher pressures. Diagram of a cross-flow reverse osmosis membrane (ESP water products. with an applied pressure is separated into two effluent streams. or retentate. Due to the added resistance of the membrane. 2010). Figure 4. Figure 3. The influent stream. 2010).

Water reclamation of municipal and industrial wastewaters. heating. The principal environmental impact associated with desalination plants is the discharge of brine with a high salt content resulting from concentrating sea water or brackish water.2. Concentration of corn sweeteners. desalination facilities can incorporate the following: • Photovoltaic solar energy for lesser consumption • Thermal solar energy for producing tap water. etc. In addition. such as the hydrogeological conditions in the area of discharge: • waves • currents and tides • bathymetry *ocean depth+ • depth of the discharge.4. Waste treatment for the recovery of process materials such as metals for the metal finishing industries. and dyes used in the manufacture of textiles. effective tools are starting to be used to reduce the impact as much as possible. (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. beer. etc. Medio Rural y Marino. 2010):         Desalination of seawater and brackish water for potable use. Environmental challenges of Reverse Osmosis.) Processing of dairy products. bottled water.3. 2009) . At present. into the discharge effluent. Generation of high-purity water for pharmaceuticals. etc. Generation of process water for beverages (fruit juices. Common applications of the Reverse Osmosis include (Kucera. For sea water the salt content can be as high as 70 gr/L. tools based on a mathematical model that allows the best dispersion system to be selected for each specific case. Generation of ultrapure water for the microelectronics industry. The impact of discharging brine into the sea will depend upon the characteristics of the receiving system. Uses of Reverse Osmosis. 2. The usual method of disposal is by direct discharge along the coast line with or without prior dilution or through an undersea discharge outlet.

To do so. including fixed costs (in terms of power) and variable costs (in terms of energy). Hence the importance of continuing to seek systems that lower energy consumption in the reverse osmosis process. it is estimated that about 40% of the total cost is from energy whereas amortization ranges from 30% to 40%.5. (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. Medio Rural y Marino. then energy represents nearly three fourths of the total water cost. Desalination costs now range from 0. where the latest successes have demonstrated high levels of production capacity. 2009) .2. If amortization is not included. it will be necessary to minimize the effect of the energy component on the cost. If amortization of the facilities is reflected in the water price. Cost of Desalination The great challenge for desalination is to bring the cost of desalted water down to a competitive level with other water resources.4 to 1 euros/m3.

( Own Work.1. 3. General Diagram of the Process. Process Flow of the “Atabal” Water Treatment Plant.Energy Generation: 640 KW Waste Diagram 1. Spain. 2012) . Filtered Water First Stage 13 Pumps Yes Rapid Sand Filters: No 68 Vessels 12 Booster Pump Osmotic Water Tank 160 000 m3 backwashing with air and water Second Stage Yes No 32 Vessels P REVERSE OSMOSIS Max. Raw water tank Salat Water 15 g/L Cartridge Filters FeCl3 Coagulation/Floculation Superficial Water Source 12 Pumps ~ 20 Bars Addition of sodium bisulfate to remove chlorine and antiscaling.Reverse Osmosis in Málaga.

Figure 6. The treatment enables the salinity level to be reduced from 6. The desalination process. Description of the Process. so that the lower the concentration is in the input water. the energy cost depends on the salt concentration of raw water. The installation also offers the possibility of making better use of water from the Guadalhorce dam and of supplying the town with larger quantities (Degrémont.47 g/l to 0.2 g/l. The treatment plant uses surface water from the reservoirs located at Guadalhorce (Guadalhorce. The technology of desalination using reverse osmosis process is the most widely planted in Spain. Conde de Guadalhorce and Guadalteba) where salinity reaches up to 6 g/l.1 Reverse Osmosis Salt is removed using the reverse osmosis process. 2011). 9 . A general overview of the treatment stages are shown below in figure 6. Treatment stages (Degrémont. following pretreatment carried out using the clarifiers and sand filters comprising the existing drinking water production plant. The desalination plant is a reverse osmosis based treatment plant complementing the Water Treatment Plant and allows water to be supplied at suitable concentrations according to current regulations. taking into account the energy recovery systems and the price of electricity.3. 2011).2.2. 3. the lower the energy consumption. as can be seen in the diagram of the figure 1 is mainly composed by the reverse osmosis and the energy recovery process. In addition. El Atabal (Málaga) desalination plant was built to improve the quality of the water supply in the city of Malaga. Next it is described in detail each step. This desalination process is the one that requires less energy consumption.

The desalination process was designed featuring two stages: the first stage processes the whole flow rate. Pressure should be applied above the osmotic pressure of brackish water. the environmental impact is reduced. 80% of the raw water supplied to the plant is used. Each module has an input capacity of approximately 720 m3/h. Through the mixing of the two outfall sewers. Individual vessel of the Reverse Osmosis rack (Own photos. other part is rejected as brine. the brackish water is injected into the reverse osmosis modules. 2012) The brine is discharged into an outfall sewer that is more than 6 km long and is 800 mm in diameter. The Reverse Osmosis rack or frame is composed of several vessels (68 the first stage and 32 the second one) that are formed by tubular membrane usually made with a thin film composite material and manufactured in a spiral configuration as opposed to a flat sheet or tube geometry (see figure 2). Not all the water injected into the reverse osmosis modules passes through them is desalinated. using the same type of membrane (see figure 3). one just before the first stage rack and another one between the two stages before the second stage. .Once pretreated and filtered. The extra pressure required for desalination is achieved through 2 booster pumps. by high pressure pumps in order to produce demineralization of organic and inorganic components dissolved in the water by the action of the applied pressure on the semi permeable membranes. Common membrane materials include polyamide thin film composites (TFC). which routs it to the sea sewer outlet at the Guadalhorce treatment plant. while the second stage processes the brine discharged from the first stage (with a double saline concentration). Figure 7. Thus. cellulose acetate (CA) and cellulose triacetate (CTA).

000 m3/day Gravity flow 250 m Overland to Guadahorce WTP 6. potassium permanganate. bisulphite and descalant.75 – 1. 2009). Chemical: sulphuric acid. Number of reverse osmosis frames Number of high pressure racks 12 12 (in 2 stages) 1st stage: 68 pressure vessels 2nd stage: 32 pressure vessels Spiral membranes for brackish water Desalinated water pump Pump pipe Outfall pipe Regulator tank Total installed capacity Concession period Investment Distribution capacity Cubic metres per day Energy data Electric power (kW) Voltage (kV) Specific energy consumption 12.30 kWh/m3 according to source water salt content 216. Atabal Plant Summary Maximum production Benefited population Desalination process Pretreatment 165.9 M€ . iron(III) chloride. Tabla 1.A general summary with the corresponding data is described below in table 1.500 m 500 m3 19. polyelectrolyte.270 kW 50 years 53. General summary from Atabal Plant (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural Water Desaliation in Spain.000 m3/day 650.000 inhabitants Reverse osmosis Physical:     Sedimentation Open filtering Micro filtering (cartridge filters) Sodium hypochlorite.000 kW 24 kV 0.

A Pelton turbine consists of a set of buckets or cups mounted around a hub and it operates in air with the wheel driven by jets of high pressure water hitting the buckets or cups. Energy Recovery Energy consumption is generally the biggest cost driver of desalination. Pelton Turbine in Reverse Osmosis Process (Avlonitis. 2008).2. by which they can reach up to 17% of the energy consumed by the plant. High-pressure pumps (20-25 bar) are the equipment that feeds the reverse osmosis membranes at the proper pressure to produce separation of the permeate (desalted water) from the reject (brine). thereby making energy recovery equipment critical to the Reverse Osmosis process. The available pressure in the rejection of reverse osmosis racks can be used in certain circumstances to produce electricity in two Pelton turbogenerators. 2003).3. 2004). .2. Energy recovery turbines and variable speed drives were installed for the feed pumps for the reverse osmosis membranes. Kinetic energy of the water jets is transferred to the turbine (Blanco. Figure 8. thus making it possible to achieve an energy recovery rate of 80%. An automatic control system defines at any given time the operating pressure to maintain in the general collector of rejection. The large amount of energy consumed in this phase of the process has resulted in the development of different energy recovery systems which have evolved from backpressure turbines to Pelton turbines and very recent systems with pressure exchange chambers. This function is possible with pressure transmitters (Price Water House Coopers.

The brine generated after the complete desalination of water is channeled to the Sewage Treatment Station of the Guadalhorce.3. the plant in El Atabal has a treated water storage tank of 500 m3. the high purity water obtained is subjected to an after treatment to ensure suitable conditions for drinking and prevent the growth of microorganisms. After this station the water is poured in a controlled way to low-risk maritime areas. .3. Post treatment Finally. Correction of pH of the water produced is made dosing lime into the water pipe output.2. in order to minimize the impact of the discharge to the marine environment (Price Water House Coopers. This treatment is performed by dosing a given amount of Sodium hypochlorite as disinfectant. Once the water has been treated. 3.4.2. Brine disposal. 2004). this goes through a series of valves provided for possible mixtures. In order to have a reserve of water for displacements and cleaning of membranes.

Empresa Municipal Aguas de Málaga. (2012).osmosisandreverseosmosis.  Degrémont (2011)..  Ministerio de Medio Ambiente.degremont.com/en/activities/references/references/?reference_id=50 Consulted: January 2012  Kucera.com/industry_water_treatment/reverse_osmosis_ro. Desalination.com/  Price Water House Coopers (2004). Medio Rural y Marino. Scrivener. from http://www.accepta. (2003).Industry Reports . Desalination 157. Energy Recovery. Retrieved January 2012. (n. Retrieved January 2012. Reverse Osmosis. Industrial Applications and Processes. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. J. (2009). N.  Degrémont (2011). URL webpage Perth http://www. Suez Environnement. Water Desalination in Spain . Elservier. EMASA  Perth (2011).). B.  Blanco. Energy Recovery Devices in Desalination. K.Bibliography  Advanced Environmental Technologies.net/projects/perth/perth4.  Osmosis and reverse osmosis. URL webpage from Suez Environnement. from http://www. Inc. Medio Rural y Marino. Efecto Social de la puesta en servicio de la Desaladora de El Atabal. Kouroumbas. Reverse Osmosis Skids. (2010). Energy consumption and membrane replacement cost for seawater RO desalination plants. accepta.water-technology.. Vlachakis. http://www. (2008).d. S.html Consulted: January 2012 . 151-158.asp  Avlonitis.