RO works by applying a hydrostatic pressure more than the naturally occurring osmotic pressure to force water flow through a semi-permeable membrane, leaving dissolved salts behind. As salt concentration increases on the feed side of the membrane, so does the osmotic pressure, requiring higher hydrostatic pressure to maintain the water flux.
Hyrec's multistage Osmotically Assisted Reverse Osmosis (OARO) system circulates a fraction of the concentrate from the final RO separation stage back to its permeate side. Then, it successively passes the mixed permeate to the dilute side of each preceeding RO membrane. This keeps the osmotic pressure across all the membranes low to produce concentrated brine from seawater with reduced energy consumption.
Hyrec can concentrate brine up to 320,000 ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS) from a saline influent of about 40,000 ppm TDS at a hydrostatic pressure of 70 bar. In such cases, it consumes approximately 6 kWh/m3 of recovered water and recovers 80% of water with no additional heating or draw solutions. The OARO method currently decreases operational costs by up to 40% and saves as much as 60% on capital costs, compared to conventional electrodialysis (ED) and mechanical vapor compression (MVC) for brine concentration from seawater. Treating brackish water containing 10,000 ppm TDS, it can achieve up to 95% recovery for near zero liquid discharge (ZLD) from inland desalination facilities.
Hyrec's modified RO system is unique as it can concentrate brine to high TDS levels with low energy consumption while using no additional heating or draw solutions. Inherently, it is more energy efficient because it is a single step process compared to the multistep FO processes that require an energy intensive draw solution regeneration step. In addition, Hyrec’s technology is less capital intensive because of its single step nature and utilization of conventional sea water RO equipment; pumps, vessels and membranes.
An Osmotically Assisted Reverse Osmosis (OARO) system circulates a fraction of the concentrate from the final separation stage back to its permeate side. Then, it successively passes the mixed permeate to the dilute side of each preceding RO membrane. This keeps the osmotic pressure across all the membranes low to produce concentrated brine from dilute solutions with reduced energy consumption.
Hyrec's membrane cascades comprise a series of highly-hydrophilic, low-rejection RO membranes co-developed with a membrane manufacturer. Hyrec's own membranes aid in the reduction of osmotic pressure, due to their permission of some salt passage. The technology integrates nanofiltration (NF) as a water softening pretreatment for the OARO process to alleviate fouling and extend lifetime of its membranes. In addition to salt brine, Hyrec passes the permeate from the first stage of its OARO system through a separate high- rejection RO membrane to provide fresh water. The concentrate from this desalination process can also be recycled back to the concentrate side of the first stage of the OARO system.
Hyrec's multistage Osmotically Assisted Reverse Osmosis (OARO) system circulates a fraction of the concentrate from the final separation stage back to its permeate side. Then, it successively passes the mixed permeate to the dilute side of each preceding RO membrane. This keeps the osmotic pressure across all the membranes low to produce concentrated brine from seawater with reduced energy consumption.
Hyrec provides a membrane-based, chemical-free process as a low-energy, cost-effective alternative to conventional ED, FO and MVC. It currently targets the seawater concentration market, driven by the need of salts as feedstocks for the soda ash and chloroalkali industries. It has also been used to concentrate high salinity waste brines from several industries and for concentrating food and beverage products like juice and milk, recovery of precious ions from mining or pharmaceutical waste streams, regeneration of specific chemicals like sodium sulfite or draw solutes for forward osmosis (FO), and ZLD.
Hyrec can reconcentrate draw solutions used by FO systems with low energy consumption.
Hyrec extends the range of RO to very high salinities, salinity ranges that have been dominated by thermal and MVR solutions. Hyrec extends all the benefits of RO, for example, low power consumption and low capital and operational cost to the high salinity range. Both capital and operational costs of Hyrec are less than 50% of comparable thermal solutions.
Hyrec consumes approximately 50% of the power consumed by ED. Hyrec capital costs are also substantially less and is much simpler to operate.
We request potential clients to share composition and flow rates of the streams they desire to concentrate or recover, and we prepare study cases that show capital and operational costs of Hyrec.
Soda ash and chlor-alkali plants consume more than 150 million tons per year of crystalline salt as feedstock. The crystalline salt is dissolved in a brine preparation section to form 26% by weight salt solution that is clarified by a combination of chemical treatment and filtration to removes undesired divalent ions (Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfate ions). Hyrec’s process supplies a 26% salt brine solution from sea water that is free of di-valents and requires minimum pretreatment, thus eliminating the need for purchasing and storing salt and the capital cost associated with brine preparation and purification. It provides independence from seasonality and market conditions of salt supply. In addition, Hyrec produces by-product desalinated water that can be used as potable water, process water or sold in the merchant market providing additional savings and sources of revenue.
The cost of salt produced by Hyrec depends on the cost of electricity, initial and desired final concentration of the brine, value/price of by-product water and capacity of the plant. Salt costs of salt can range from $8 to $30/ton.
The salt produced by Hyrec is 99% pure. Main impurities are potassium and bromide ions.
Power consumption depends on the initial concentration of the stream, its composition and required pretreatment, and the desired final concentration of the brine. The power consumption can range from 3.5KWH-6.5KWH per m3 of recovered water.
The footprint of Hyrec’s plant is comparable to a similar capacity sea water RO plant. We designed plants with footprints that range from 100 m2 to 20,000 m2. Our demo plant in Turkey has a capacity of 6 tons salt and 220 m3 desalinated water per day. The plant is housed in a 40 ft ISO container.
Hyrec can concentrate salt solutions to near saturation limits of many salts. For example, in case of sea water, Hyrec can concentrate it to 26% by weight.
We estimate the average life time of Hyrec membranes to be 5-6 years.
In regular RO membranes, they degrade with time. Their water permeability decreases and salt passage increases. After 3 years of operation their product quality may not meet process requirements so, they must be replaced. This is not the case for Hyrec membranes. Salt passage through the membrane doesn’t have big impact on system performance. And up to some extent, degradation enhance membrane performance.
The answer to this question depends on the cost of power, initial composition and desired final concentration of the stream and value of recovered water. In the cases we studied, we have seen pay back periods that range from one to four years.
Depending on size of the system and readiness of the customer, delivery time can range from 6 to 12 months.