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Crystals 2016, 6(4), 36; doi:10.3390/cryst6040036

Integrated Membrane Desalination Systems with Membrane Crystallization Units for Resource Recovery: A New Approach for Mining from the Sea

1
National Research Council—Institute on Membrane Technology (ITM–CNR), Via Pietro BUCCI, c/o University of Calabria, cubo 17C, Rende 87036, Italy
2
Department of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, University of Calabria, Rende 87036, Italy
3
WCU Energy Engineering Department, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea
4
Center of Excellence in Desalination Technology, King Abdulaziz University (KAU–CEDT), Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Cölfen
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 9 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 1 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane-Assisted Crystallization)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2117 KB, uploaded 1 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

The mining industry is facing problems of clean production in terms of mineral processing, pollution, water consumption, and renewable energy. An interesting outlook can be to combine the mining industry with membrane-based desalination in the logic of mining from the sea. In fact, several of the drawbacks found in both mining and desalination can be minimized or overcome, which includes hindering mineral depletion, water production instead of water consumption, smart usage of brine instead of disposal, and low energy consumption, etc. Recently, membrane crystallization (MCr) has been developed to recover minerals from highly concentrated solutions. This study suggests MCr for the treatment of nanofiltration (NF) retentate and reverse osmosis (RO) brine leaving membrane-based desalination system. Thermodynamic modeling has been carried out to predict at which water recovery factor and which amount of minerals can be recovered. Theoretical results deviate only 2.09% from experimental results. Multivalent components such as barium, strontium, and magnesium are easier to recover from NF retentate with respect to RO brine. KCl and NiCl2 might be recovered from both NF retentate and RO brine, whereas lithium can only be recovered from RO brine. Moreover, copper and manganese compounds might also be recovered from desalination brine in perspectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: valuable resource recovery; membrane crystallization; mining industry; thermodynamic modeling; membrane-based desalination valuable resource recovery; membrane crystallization; mining industry; thermodynamic modeling; membrane-based desalination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Quist-Jensen, C.A.; Macedonio, F.; Drioli, E. Integrated Membrane Desalination Systems with Membrane Crystallization Units for Resource Recovery: A New Approach for Mining from the Sea. Crystals 2016, 6, 36.

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