High Salinity Brines

Our group has applied a variety of technologies for desalination and brine concentration and high salinity desalination. We have examined membrane distillation and electrodialysis in this range as well. We have also found high energy efficiency for counterflow reverse osmosis. We have performed technoeconomic studies of hybrid brine concentration and ZLD systems. We have studied precipitation of mineral scale and softening techniques as well.

In 2015, we were the first to show that high pressure reverse osmosis (HPRO), if realized, could save energy relative to thermal technologies.

Selected Papers on High Salinity Desalination and Brine Concentration

K.G. Nayar, J. Fernandes, R.K. McGovern, B.S. Al-Anzi, J.H. Lienhard V, “Cost and energy needs of RO-ED crystallizer systems for zero brine discharge seawater desalination,” Desalination, online 8 February 2019, 457:115-132, 1 May 2019. (doi link) (preprint)

K.G. Nayar, J. Fernandes, R.K. McGovern, K.P. Dominguez, A. McCance, B.S. Al-Anzi, J.H. Lienhard V, “Cost and energy requirements of hybrid RO and ED brine concentration systems for salt production,” Desalination, online 29 January 2019, 456:97-120, 15 April 2019. (doi link) (preprint)

S. Choi, B. Kim, K.G. Nayar, J. Yoon, S. Alhammadi, J.H. Lienhard V, J. Han, B. Al-Anzi, “Techno-economic Analysis of Ion Concentration Polarization Desalination for High Salinity Desalination Applications,” Water Research, online 25 February 2019, 155:162-174, 15 May 2019. (doi link) (preprint)

A.T. Bouma and J.H. Lienhard V, “Split-feed counterflow reverse osmosis for brine concentration,” Desalination, online 27 August 2018, 445:280-291, 1 November 2018. (doi link) (preprint)

J. Swaminathan and J.H. Lienhard V, “Design and operation of membrane distillation with feed recirculation for high recovery brine concentration,”
Desalination, online 2 August 2018, 445:51-62, 1 November 2018. (doi link) (preprint)

J. Swaminathan, H.W. Chung, D.M. Warsinger, J.H. Lienhard V, “Energy efficiency of membrane distillation at high salinity: evaluating critical system size and optimal membrane thickness,” Applied Energy, online 24 Nov. 2017, 211:715–734, 1 Feb. 2018. (doi link) (preprint)

K.M. Chehayeb, D.M. Farhat, K.G. Nayar, J.H. Lienhard V, “Optimal design and operation of electrodialysis for brackish-water desalination and for high-salinity brine concentration,” Desalination, online 18 July 2017, 420:167-182, 15 Oct. 2017. (doi link) (preprint)

H.W. Chung, K.G. Nayar, J. Swaminathan, K.M. Chehayeb, and J.H. Lienhard V, “Thermodynamic analysis of brine management methods: zero-discharge desalination and salinity-gradient power production,” Desalination, online 23 Nov. 2016, 404:291-303, 17 Feb. 2017. (doi link) (preprint)

H.W. Chung, J. Swaminathan, D.M. Warsinger, and J.H. Lienhard V, “Multistage vacuum membrane distillation (MSVMD) systems at high salinity,” J. Membrane Sci., online 15 Sept. 2015, 497:128–141, 1 Jan. 2016. (doi link) (preprint)

A comparison of system efficiencies over varying feed salinities shows that the hypothetical RO system generally outperforms existing produced water technologies (Thiel et al., 2015)

A comparison of system efficiencies over varying feed salinities shows that the hypothetical RO system generally outperforms existing produced water technologies (Thiel et al., 2015)

G.P. Thiel, E.W. Tow, L.D. Banchik, H.W. Chung, J.H. Lienhard V, “Energy consumption in desalinating produced water from shale oil and gas extraction,” Desalination, 366:94-112, 15 June 2015; online 15 January 2015. (doi link) (preprint) Several desalination systems are modeled at high salinity. While evaporative systems show increasing efficiency at higher salinity, high pressure reverse osmosis (HPRO), if realized, may provide significant energy savings relative to thermal technologies.

G.P. Thiel and J.H. Lienhard V, “Treating produced water from hydraulic fracturing: composition effects on scale formation and desalination system selection,” Desalination, 346:54-69, May 2014. (doi link) (preprint)

E.W. Tow, R.K. McGovern, and J.H. Lienhard V, “Raising forward osmosis brine concentration efficiency through flow rate optimization,” Desalination, 366:71-79, 15 June 2015; online 13 November 2014. (doi link) (preprint)

R.K. McGovern, A.M. Weiner, L. Sun, C.G. Chambers, S.M. Zubair, and J.H. Lienhard V, “On the cost of electrodialysis for the desalination of high salinity feeds,” Applied Energy, 136:649-661, Dec. 2014. (doi link) (preprint)

R.K. McGovern, S.M. Zubair, and J.H. Lienhard, “A hybrid electrodialysis-reverse osmosis system design and its optimization for the treatment of highly saline brines,” IDA Journal, 6(1):15-23, April 2014. (doi link) (preprint)