Evoqua Water Technologies today announced it will work with PUB, Singapore’s national water agency to build a new desalination demonstration facility in Tuas, Singapore, capable of producing 500,000 gallons of desalinated seawater per day. The new desalination plant will utilize Evoqua’s next-generation, patented Nexed™ electrochemical desalination module technology.
The Nexed™ module technology provides innovative features such as an advanced low-energy membrane, intelligent flow distribution, and tunable dissolved solids removal capability allowing new options for significantly reduced energy use, costs and facility footprint. This new gold-standard in electrochemical desalination was introduced earlier this summer at Aquatech-Shanghai, the largest water technology event in Asia (click here to read the announcement).
With support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), through the TechPioneer piloting programme. Evoqua will design and construct an adjacent one million gallon/day (feed) plant with the planning phase beginning this month. Staged increases in flow rate will be achieved through 2017 after the first 90 m3/hr feed flow system is installed in mid-2016.
“R&D is vital as we continue to ensure a sustainable water supply for the future. With rising energy costs, we are looking into ways to reduce the energy consumed during desalination. This is important as desalination will meet up to 25% of our water needs by 2060,” said Harry Seah, Chief Technology Officer, PUB. “We are excited to collaborate with our international partners such as Evoqua in areas such as electrochemical desalting, to co-create solutions that ensure our water supply remains sustainable and affordable.”
“Our Nexed™ system represents a breakthrough in electrochemical desalination and we are extremely pleased the PUB agrees with us that it is the next generation in desalination,” said Ron Keating, Evoqua Water Technologies CEO. “Through our R&D efforts we have been able to bridge major technology gaps to make low-cost, effective and reliable desalination possible as well as lay the groundwork for even larger breakthroughs to come.
“By overcoming the challenges to make the technology adjustable for the end user, output quality can be manipulated by input power adjustments. This tunable feature also allows for options to minimize footprint and provide for optimized energy consumption. We think of this technology as a ‘de-salting engine’ and can be applied to a wide range of uses, including sea and brackish water, variable salinity applications and water re-use options,” said Keating.
To put the size of the facility to be built in context, more than 80 percent of municipal drinking water systems in the United States serve a population base using this amount of output; a town of nearly 6,000 residents can be served by a facility of this size. And according to the U.S. EPA, 97 percent of public drinking water systems in the U.S. serve 10,000 or fewer customers. Once this pilot is successfully completed, larger facilities are expected.
There are more than 3,500 plants operating worldwide from 250,000 to 750,000 gallons/day treating seawater and brackish water sources for municipal, agricultural and industrial needs.
“To sustain Singapore’s position as a global hydrohub, we will continually invest in water research and innovation as a growth driver. Singapore is also a living lab that actively partners global companies to develop, test and commercialize smart and sustainable urban solutions, before scaling up the solutions in the region. We are therefore pleased that Evoqua has created a new business in Singapore around its revolutionary electrochemical desalination technology by leveraging Singapore for the entire innovation and commercialization value chain,” said Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director, EDB.
How Evoqua’s Nexed™ modules work
Electrodialysis is a membrane process in which ions are transported through selective ion permeable membranes from one solution to another under the influence of an electrical potential gradient. Alternating ion selective membranes (anionic and cationic) can be configured to create separated streams of purified and concentrated water. For more information, visit www.evoqua.com/nexed.