One of the challenges to inland desalination plants in arid regions is the question of brine disposal. Evaporation ponds proposed for brine disposal present an environmental burden because of the large area required. A process has been developed in cooperation with Lesico Ltd. to drastically reduce the land area required for such brine disposal. It is based on vertically mounted and continuously wetted evaporation surfaces with packing densities of 20 m2/m2 footprint and greater. Studies on a pilot unit with 31-43 m2 evaporation surface showed that evaporation rates (L/D-m2 evaporating surface) can reach up to 90% of those of open water surfaces with a packing density of 20 m2/m2 footprint. Actual enhancements on the larger scale WAIV unit were 13-fold based on a footprint to footprint comparison between the open pan and the WAIV unit. In addition, materials have been located that do not demonstrate irreversible plugging when used on desalination brines. In small scale studies they were run for several months on desalination brines with efficiencies at least equaling that of open bodies of water.
- Concentrate disposal
- Evaporation ponds