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Membranes 2018, 8(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8040117

Treatment of Flue Gas Desulfurization Wastewater by an Integrated Membrane-Based Process for Approaching Zero Liquid Discharge

1
Institute on Membrane Technology, ITM-CNR, c/o University of Calabria, via P. Bucci, 17/C, I-87036 Rende (CS), Italy
2
Department of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci, 44/A, I-87036 Rende (CS), Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 19 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Distillation Process)
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Abstract

An integrated membrane process for the treatment of wastewaters from a flue gas desulfurization (FGD) plant was implemented on a laboratory scale to reduce their salt content and to produce a water stream to be recycled in the power industry. The process is based on a preliminary pretreatment of FGD wastewaters, which includes chemical softening and ultrafiltration (UF) to remove Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions as well as organic compounds. The pretreated wastewaters were submitted to a reverse osmosis (RO) step to separate salts from water. The RO retentate was finally submitted to a membrane distillation (MD) step to extract more water, thus increasing the total water recovery factor while producing a high-purity permeate stream. The performance of RO and MD membranes was evaluated by calculating salts rejection, permeate flux, fouling index, and water recovery. The investigated integrated system allowed a total recovery factor of about 94% to be reached, with a consequent reduction of the volume of FGD wastewater to be disposed, and an MD permeate stream with an electrical conductivity of 80 μS/cm, able to be reused in the power plant, with a saving in fresh water demand. View Full-Text
Keywords: FGD wastewater; integrated membrane-based process; zero liquid-discharge; sustainability FGD wastewater; integrated membrane-based process; zero liquid-discharge; sustainability
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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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Conidi, C.; Macedonio, F.; Ali, A.; Cassano, A.; Criscuoli, A.; Argurio, P.; Drioli, E. Treatment of Flue Gas Desulfurization Wastewater by an Integrated Membrane-Based Process for Approaching Zero Liquid Discharge. Membranes 2018, 8, 117.

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