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Title:
BRINE TREATMENT SCALING CONTROL SYSTEM AND METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/132104
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention may be used in systems and methods for brine treatment scaling control in a water treatment system. A concentrated brine stream influent may be treated in an electrodialysis- reversal process to produce a concentrated brine stream effluent and lower salinity diluent water, which may be potable water effluent. The concentrated brine stream effluent may be processed in a brine treatment scaling control system that may have a mixing vessel and a membrane filter with the mixing vessel seeded with calcium sulfate. A lowered salinity brine stream effluent may be produced for return to the electrodialysis-reversal process to allow operation at greater overall recovery and an elevated concentrated brine stream may be produced.

Inventors:
JUBY, Graham, John, Gibson (10540 Talbert Ave, Suite 200 EastFountain Valley, CA, 92708, US)
ZACHEIS, Adam, G. (10540 Talbert Ave, Suite 200 EastFoundation Valley, CA, 92708, US)
Application Number:
US2010/001406
Publication Date:
November 18, 2010
Filing Date:
May 12, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CAROLLO ENGINEERS, P.C. (10540 Talbert Ave, Suite 200 EastFountain Valley, CA, 92708, US)
JUBY, Graham, John, Gibson (10540 Talbert Ave, Suite 200 EastFountain Valley, CA, 92708, US)
ZACHEIS, Adam, G. (10540 Talbert Ave, Suite 200 EastFoundation Valley, CA, 92708, US)
International Classes:
B01D35/06; B01D61/42; B01D69/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BEECH, Dennis, W. (Law Offices Of Dennis W. Beech, P.O. Box 519Murrieta, CA, 92564, US)
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Claims:
Claims

We claim:

1. A method for treating a brine stream comprising: treating a brine stream influent in an electrodialysis- reversal process to produce a concentrated brine stream effluent and a lower salinity diluent stream effluent; processing said concentrated brine stream effluent in a brine treatment scaling control system that has a mixing vessel and a membrane filter with said mixing vessel seeded with calcium sulfate; and producing a lowered salinity brine stream effluent for return to said electrodialysis-reversal process and an elevated concentrated brine stream effluent.

2. The method as in claim 1 wherein: said concentrated brine stream effluent is filtered in said tubular membrane filter to output said lowered salinity brine stream effluent and said elevated concentrated brine stream effluent; and said elevated concentrated brine stream effluent is mixed in said mixing vessel to produce a mixture that is returned to said membrane filter for further processing.

3. The method as in claim 2 wherein a portion of said mixture is removed at intervals necessary to maintain the material balance in said brine treatment scaling control system.

4. The method as in claim 1 wherein: said concentrated brine stream effluent is routed to said mixing vessel to produce a mixture that is routed to said membrane filter to produce said lowered salinity brine stream effluent and said elevated concentrated brine stream effluent wherein said elevated concentrated brine stream effluent is returned to said mixing vessel. 5. The method as in claim 4 wherein a portion of said elevated concentrated brine stream effluent is removed at intervals necessary to maintain the materials balance in said brine treatment scaling control system.

6. The method as in claim 1 wherein the calcium sulfate is a gypsum crystal form of material.

7. The method as in claim 1 wherein said tubular membrane filter is selected from the group consisting of a nanofiltration form and a reverse osmosis form.

8. A system for treating a brine stream comprising: an electrodialysis-reversal system in communication with a concentrated brine stream source for receipt of an influent, and producing a concentrated brine stream effluent and a lower salinity diluent stream effluent; a brine treatment scaling control system in communication with said electrodialysis-reversal system for receipt of said concentrated brine stream effluent wherein said brine treatment scaling control system has a mixing vessel and a membrane filter with said mixing vessel seeded with calcium sulfate; and said brine treatment scaling control system at an output in communication with said electrodialysis-reversal system to return a lowered salinity brine stream effluent.

9. The system as in claim 8 wherein: said tubular membrane filter outputs said lowered salinity brine stream effluent and an elevated concentrated brine stream effluent; and said mixing vessel is in communication with said membrane filter to receive said elevated concentrated brine stream effluent for mixing and to return a mixture to said membrane filter. 10. The system as in claim 9 wherein said mixing chamber outputs a portion of said mixture to the environment.

11. The system as in claim 8 wherein: said concentrated brine stream effluent is received in said mixing vessel and said mixing vessel is in communication with said membrane filter to route a mixture for said membrane filter to produce said lowered salinity brine stream effluent and an elevated concentrated brine stream effluent that is returned to said mixing vessel.

12. The system as in claim 11 wherein said membrane filter outputs a portion of said elevated concentrated brine stream effluent to the environment.

13. The system as in claim 8 wherein said membrane filter is selected from the group consisting of a nanofiltration and a reverse osmosis type, and a tubular, a flat sheet and a spiral configuration of filter.

14. The system as in claim 1 wherein said calcium sulfate is replaced with any sparingly soluble salt crystal.

Description:
Description

Brine Treatment Scaling Control System and Method

Technical Field

This invention relates to systems and processes for controlling scaling material in brine treatment systems that may be used to produce potable water, recycled water, processed water and the like. Conversion of brackish and saline water may include a primary treatment using a reverse osmosis or electrodialysis-reversal system and the concentrate brine stream produced may be further treated in an electrodialysis-reversal system to increase potable and other type water production and further concentrate the brine stream produced. The new system and method treats the concentrated brine stream to continuously remove calcium sulfate to reduce the scaling properties of the concentrated brine stream and to allow for higher treatment system recoveries.

Background Art

Current brackish and saline water treatment systems and methods may use a primary process such as reverse osmosis (RO) or electrodialysis- reversal (EDR) process with a secondary process such as an EDR process to treat a brine stream produced by the primary process. The resultant further concentrated brine stream may be disposed or wasted, or further treated with a zero liquid discharge process. A major limitation of water recovery for the secondary process for the brine stream may be the fouling of the secondary system due to scaling of the EDR membranes due to elevated levels of sparingly soluble salts, such as calcium sulfate, in the brine stream. Current methods to control scaling may include brine stream pre-treatment with chemicals that may be toxic or may include limiting the recovery. Calcium sulfate may be found in the brine stream when sulfuric acid has been used for scale control. Disclosure of Invention

The present invention is directed to systems and methods for brine treatment scaling control in a water treatment system. A concentrated brine stream influent may be treated in an electrodialysis-reversal process to produce concentrated brine stream effluent and lower salinity diluent water, which may be potable water effluent. The concentrated brine stream effluent may be processed in a brine treatment scaling control system that may have a mixing vessel and a membrane filter with the mixing vessel seeded with calcium sulfate. A lowered salinity brine stream effluent may be produced for return to the EDR process and an elevated concentrated brine stream may be produced.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Figure 1 illustrates a functional diagram of a brine treatment scaling control system in combination with an EDR brine stream secondary treatment system according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 illustrates a functional diagram of a brine treatment scaling control system in combination with an EDR brine stream secondary treatment system according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 3 illustrates a perspective schematic scaling control tubular membrane reverse osmosis process according to an embodiment of the invention. Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention

The following detailed description represents the best currently contemplated modes for carrying out the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention.

Referring to Figure 1 , an EDR process 10 may receive an influent stream 12 influent which may be a concentrated brine stream, treated wastewater, groundwater, surface water, processed water and the like and may produce a potable water 14 effluent and a concentrated brine stream 16 effluent. The concentrated brine stream 16 effluent may be processed in a brine treatment scaling control system 20 that has a mixing vessel 30 and a membrane filter 24, that may be tubular, spiral, flat sheet or other similar filter that may accommodate a seed slurry feed. The brine treatment scaling control system 20 may return a lowered salinity brine stream 26 to the EDR process 10 for further treatment.

The EDR process may transfer ions through membranes from a less concentrated solution to a more concentrated solution as a result of a flow of direct electric current. In an ionic solution in which two electrodes are immersed spaced apart, ions may begin to move toward each electrode when a direct current (DC) potential is applied to the electrodes. Positively charged ions (cations) may migrate toward the cathode, or negatively charged electrode, and negatively charged ions (anions) may migrate toward the anode, or positively charged electrode. In an EDR system several membranes may be positioned in the space between the electrodes to create water-tight compartments. Two types of membranes may be used; the generally identified anion transfer membranes that allow the passage of negatively charged anions, and the cation transfer membranes that allow the passage of positively charged cations. The two membrane types are placed between the electrodes in pairs and are impervious to water transfer. The presence of the anion and cation membrane pairs may result in water compartments that alternately become either depleted or concentrated with ions when the direct current potential is applied. When the EDR system is properly manifolded, the membrane pairs will produce two separate flow streams, one that may be demineralized and one that may be more concentrated with minerals. In a typical application, several hundred combinations of demineralizing and concentrating compartments may be assembled in a membrane stack. The membranes may be separated by membrane spacers that allow space for water to flow across the membrane surfaces. A membrane stack may contain more than one pair of electrodes. The EDR system may be structured to allow the reversal of the direct current potential. The reversal may be done periodically to cause ions to migrate alternatively in opposite directions such that a compartment that was a demineralizing compartment may become a concentrating compartment and vice versa.

There may be two water process flow connections to a membrane stack. One connection may allow water to flow through the demineralization compartment of the membrane stack and the other connection may allow water to flow through the concentrating compartments of the membrane stack. There may also be connections to the electrode compartments isolated from the water treatment flow for flushing the electrode compartments.

The flow rate of the concentrate and demineralized water through the EDR membrane stack should be essentially equal. In order to save water and increase the recovery of the EDR system, most of the concentrate brine stream may be recycled in an amount that would prevent the least soluble mineral from precipitating avoiding scale formation on the membranes and in the brine. Discharging an amount of the brine stream concentrate to waste, and adding an equal amount of feed water to maintain the overall stream volume, controls the concentration level in the concentrate brine stream. Acid and/or other anti-scalent chemicals may usually be fed continuously to the circulating concentrate brine stream to reduce the potential for mineral scaling. As the feed influent salinity to an EDR process increases, which may be the case when an EDR process is used as a secondary treatment step, the concentration of salts, and therefore the potential for scale formation in the brine stream concentrate loop increases. This condition may limit the recovery levels in an EDR process when used in a secondary treatment configuration.

As illustrated in Figure 1 an EDR process 10 receives a concentrated brine stream 12 influent from a primary saline treatment system (not shown) and outputs a potable water 14 effluent and a concentrated brine stream 16 effluent. The concentrated brine stream 16 effluent may be filtered in a membrane filter 24, tubular, flat sheet or other similar filter that may accommodate seed slurry feed to output a lowered salinity brine stream 26 that may be returned to the EDR process 10 as recycled influent for further treatment. The tubular membrane filter 24 may also output an elevated concentrated brine stream 28 as compared to the lowered salinity brine stream 26.

The concentrated brine stream 28 effluent of the tubular membrane filter 24 may be mixed in a mixing vessel 30 that may contain calcium sulfate, gypsum crystals or other sparingly soluble salt crystals. The mixture may have a portion returned to the tubular membrane filter 24, a portion removed to maintain the materials balance in the seeded slurry process of the brine treatment system 20, and solids may be removed.

Another configuration of the brine treatment system 20 is illustrated in Figure 2. In this configuration, the concentrate brine stream 16 effluent of the EDR process 10 may be routed to the mixing vessel 30 of the seeded slurry process that may contain the calcium sulfate or gypsum crystals. The mixture produced may then be pumped to the membrane filter 24, tubular flat sheet or other similar filter that may accommodate seed slurry feed. The effluent lowered salinity brine stream 26 product may then be routed to the EDR process 10 as recycled influent for further treatment. The tubular membrane filter 24 may have membranes of the nanofiltration or reverse osmosis type. The elevated concentrated brine stream 28 effluent may become concentrated to a level that the stream may exceed the solubility threshold with respect to the calcium sulfate content. This calcium sulfate salt may precipitate on the surface of the gypsum crystals rather than on the membrane surface of the tubular membrane filter 24 and the gypsum crystals with precipitate may be returned to the mixing tank 30. A portion of the gypsum crystals may be removed from the system 20 as necessary to maintain the materials balance. The gypsum crystals may typically be at least

99.9 percent purity material that may be of commercial value for further use.

Referring to Figures 1 through 3, a reverse osmosis tubular membrane filter as understood in the industry is illustrated with the calcium sulfate process annotated. In this configuration, the concentrate brine stream 1 of the treatment process may be combined with sparingly soluble salts and introduced into a series of tubular membranes 2 under pressure thus resulting in the passage of lower salinity water 3 through the membrane surface. Elevated concentrate, sparingly soluble salts and precipitating solids continue through the process 4 and out of the overall membrane pressure vessel 12 for recycling. The use of the brine treatment scaling control system 20 may result in: continuous removal of scaling compounds from an EDR process to aid in greater EDR process recovery; production of scaling solids that may be in an easily dewaterable form; reduction or elimination of EDR brine process blowdown and make-up cycling; treatment of higher concentrated brine in a smaller treatment volume; reduced costs for secondary brine treatment; reduced brine treatment chemical use; and reduced EDR process product salinity with greater salt rejection by the process.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with respect to the illustrated embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.