ZLD

Optimization Of An All-membrane Zero Liquid Discharge System At Los Alamos National Laboratories

By Stanley R. Karrs, P.E. and Paul Parker, P.E.

COOLING TOWERS CYCLES OF CONCENTRATION MICROFILTRATION REUSE REVERSE OSMOSIS SILICA SOFTENING WASTEWATER

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Abstract

Los Alamos National Labs (LANL) is located in a remote location chosen for national security reasons since this was the site where atomic bomb technology was originally developed. LANL is currently very active in weapons and energy research, which require significant quantities of water in an area of New Mexico where water supplies are scarce. Water for the laboratory comes from a deep regional aquifer and contains high silica levels (88 to 105 parts per million [ppm] as SiO2). The presence of silica complicates the efficient use of the available water. For example, the site had cooling towers that must operate on low cycles of concentration (typically 2 cycles of concentration) because of high silica level. Topics explored within the article include cooling towers, cycles of concentration, microfiltration, reuse, reverse osmosis, softening, and wastewater.

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