Currently, several technologies are commercially available to reduce the water salinity. These technologies are successfully employed to treat, for example, brackish groundwater. However, salinity is not the only water quality indicator of interest. For effective water re-use, technologies are required to control the ionic composition of water (i.e. removal of specific ions from water, while keeping the others).
In this project, we will focus on electrodialysis (ED), a desalination technology driven by an electrical field. We aim to selectively remove specific ions from water. ED technology controls the exact degree of desalination based on the applied voltage. Still, it is not just the overall salt concentration that matters. For many applications ranging from agriculture to potable water, the exact ionic composition is crucial. Specific separations are considered, such as the separation of monovalent from divalent ions, and the recovery of phosphate from wastewater. In the design of this process, we will consider the effluent requirements of the desalinated water as well as the environmental compatibility of the concentrate stream.
Our key objectives are:
– Developing selective ion-exchange membranes (IEM) via surface modifications
– Modelling selective IEM
– Exploring the integration of ED with NF process