Singapore invests in energy-efficient water desalination

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A new grant issued by Singapore’s National Water Agency, PUB, will help the country to improve energy efficiency and ensure reliable and flexible water desalination processes.

On behalf of the National Research Foundation, PUB has issued a $1.3 million grant to technology firm DuPont to determine how Closed Circuit Reverse Osmosis (CCRO) technology can be applied to desalination processes to make the purification of seawater more energy-efficient, flexible and reliable.

The development follows DuPont obtaining CCRO process technology with the acquisition of Desalitech Ltd. in January 2020.

CCRO leverages a standardised design, smart software, and standard components to help customers purify and reuse more water through higher recovery rates, lower energy consumption and reduced maintenance compared to traditional reverse osmosis.

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The technology has proven to deliver up to 90-98% water recovery with reduced energy usage and superior fouling and scaling resistance for the purification and reuse of brackish water within industrial, municipal, and wastewater applications, according to a statement.

The CCRO technology will be optimised for seawater desalination systems to operate at 15% or lower energy than conventional reverse osmosis systems using energy recovery devices.

DuPont will also demonstrate additional benefits of minimising maintenance through fewer cleanings, and the ability to automatically adapt to variable salinity feed source. Closed circuit reverse osmosis desalination systems, as more autonomous, data-driven solutions, will be well suited to support the clean water needs of regions with limited access to water operations and affordable energy.

HP Nanda, global vice president, general manager, DuPont Water Solutions, said: “As we look to increase access to fresh water, we believe that closed circuit reverse osmosis will prove to be a more sustainable way to purify, conserve and reuse water, including saltwater.”

Gary Gu, global technology leader, DuPont Water Solutions, adds: “We look forward to working with PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, to advance CCRO and membrane technologies to enable a seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination system with record-setting lowest energy consumption.”