Reducing High-Recovery RO, ZLD Costs
By Dr. Michael Mickley
CHINA CONSERVATION COOLING WATER COOLING TOWERS CRYSTALLIZERS DESALINATION DISTILLATION ECONOMICS EDI EDR ENERGY COST MEMBRANES MINING NANOFILTRATION POWER PRODUCED WATER REVERSE OSMOSIS ULTRAFILTRATION WASTEWATER ZLD
More than 30 companies, involving a wide range of technologies, are focusing on reducing the cost of high-recovery (HR) desalination processing. A primary driver has been the potential of significant new markets for HR processing in unconventional oil and gas industries. HR processes are cost intensive and reduction in cost is necessary for new companies and their technologies to compete with established companies and conventional HR technologies.
To date, new companies and technologies have had little impact on the marketplace for several reasons, including:
- Slow progress of the companies with alternative HR technologies in finding appropriate applications and demonstrating significant advantages over conventional technologies.
- Dampened activity in the unconventional oil and gas industries because of the depressed economy and low oil and gas prices.
- Unconventional oil and gas industries finding lower cost or temporary alternative solutions to HR processing.
The potential of new technologies and modification of conventional technologies to reduce HR costs and impact the marketplace is high, however, with major questions surrounding which technologies will be successful and in what time frame.
This article discusses HR markets, reviews the incentives for new companies to pursue HR processing, and identifies technology areas and the approaches taken to reduce both capital and operating costs. Additionally, it reviews the challenges companies face in reaching and competing in the marketplace, and discusses the difficulties of evaluating the status and potential of alternative HR technologies.
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