Nowadays, there is increasing interest in advanced simulation methods for desalination. The two most common desalination methods are multi-stage flash distillation (MSF) and reverse osmosis (RO). Numerous research works have been published on these separations, however their simulation appears to be difficult due to their complexity, therefore continuous improvement is required. The RO, in particular, is difficult to model, because the liquids to be separated also depend specifically on the membrane material. The aim of this study is to model steady-state desalination opportunities of saline process wastewater in flowsheet environment. Commercial flowsheet simulator programs were investigated: ChemCAD for thermal desalination and WAVE program for membrane separation. The calculation of the developed MSF model was verified based on industrial data. It can be stated that both simulators are capable of reducing saline content from 4.5 V/V% to 0.05 V/V%. The simulation results are in accordance with the expectations: MSF has higher yield, but reverse osmosis is simpler process with lower energy demand. The main additional value of the research lies in the comparison of desalination modelling in widely commercially available computer programs. Furthermore, complex functions are established between the optimized operating parameters of multi-stage flash distillation allowing to review trends in flash steps for complete desalination plants.
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