Thermodynamic analysis of brine management methods: Zero-discharge desalination and salinity-gradient power production

We model the pressure-retarded osmosis system coupled with a desalination system using a detailed numerical optimization, which resulted in about 0.42 kWh/m3 of energy saving

Hyung Won Chung; Kishor G. Nayar; Jaichander Swaminathan; Karim M. Chehayeb; John H. Lienhard V


Scholarcy highlights

  • Desalination produces a concentrated brine which has to be discharged back to the environment
  • For the purpose of brine management, normalizing using the the feed mass flow rates is appropriate because one of the main aims of brine management is to reduce the mass of an incoming feed stream
  • Two distinctly different ways of managing desalination brine are analyzed from an energetic perspective: zero-discharge desalination with salt production and electricity generation utilizing the exergy of the brine
  • Thermodynamic minimum energy required for ZDD process was calculated
  • Energy required for brine concentration stage was compared to that required for crystallization to identify which stage has greater potential for improvement
  • The energy saving by adding a pressure-retarded osmosis unit to a desalination system was quantified

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