Advanced Thermally Robust Membranes for High Salinity Extracted Brine Treatment Email Page
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Performer:  Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Location:  Los Alamos, NM
Project Duration:  02/01/2016 – 04/30/2017 Award Number:  FWP-FE-663-15-FY16
Technology Area:  Plant Optimization Technologies Total Award Value:  $400,000
Key Technology:  Water Management R&D DOE Share:  $400,000
Performer Share:  $0

Conceptual depiction of the HASMBS process for hot<br/>high salinity geothermal brine treatment using a hot<br/>gas sweep aimed at utilizing waste heat and water from brine.
Conceptual depiction of the HASMBS process for hot
high salinity geothermal brine treatment using a hot
gas sweep aimed at utilizing waste heat and water from brine.

Project Description

This project will develop and evaluate a polymeric membrane that can withstand high temperature, high salt concentration, and the presence of oxygen for use with hot waste-gas streams as a membrane sweep within the hot gas sweep membrane brine separation (HASMBS) process for high-salinity brine treatment. The developed membrane process will enable water removal from the brine stream, thereby concentrating the brine and reducing its volume for re-injection or disposal. The water vapor in the gas sweep stream can either be exhausted into the environment or utilized in a subsequent unit operation.

Whereas reverse osmosis (RO) is currently the most energy-efficient technology for desalination, it is inherently limited to lower-salinity brines such as those encountered in sea water treatment. Current commercial technologies for treating high-salinity brine streams for reuse applications, (e.g., evaporative crystallization and mechanical vapor compression) are often considered too costly and energy inefficient to warrant their use.

Project Benefits

Successful development of novel polymeric membranes that could be utilized in the HASMBS separation process would yield significant technoeconomic and environmental benefits across the numerous arenas in which these produced waters are encountered. The membrane technology would reduce brine disposal costs while increasing power production opportunities by co-utilization of waste heat and water derived from these high-salinity brines via membrane distillation for power production.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Jessica Mullen:
Technology Manager Briggs White:
Principal Investigator Kathryn A. Berchtold: