Home of 16" Reverse Osmosis Design Thinking

 

WATER SYSTEMS - Applications

"... A focussed business strategy benefits our clients with specialist knowledge and application consulting, design and experience..." 

Our experience & technology covers the following feed water: 

  • Seawater 
  • Brackish Water 
  • Sewage (Waste Water)  
  • Mine Drainage Water 
  • Agricultural and Industrial 


Seawater Desalination & Wastewater Treatment

 It is been proven globally that 16” Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology provides a cost effective water purification solution for large scale seawater and brackish water desalination as well as wastewater reclamation facilities. 

William Graham, the inventor of the original 16” RO technology and founder of GrahamTek, has substantial experience in large scale sea water and brackish water desalination and Mega Waste Treatment facilities, some of the which exceed 50 Mega Litre per day. 

 

We have the capability to build the most efficient 16” RO treatment plants in the world. Through being the First-to- Patent, Market, Manufacture, Install, and First-to- Operate 16” RO technologies - we have become an undisputed source of knowledge and ultimately the leader in knowhow regarding the application and design of 16” RO systems. 

The GrahamTek Reverse Osmosis solution has a unique competitive advantage to most other desalination technologies in that we use virtually no  chemicals in our RO  process, and our system design prevents any chemical discharge in the brine stream. This means that we can discharge brine back into the sea with a negligible biological impact.

The brine immediately bonds with water molecules upon discharge to reach equilibrium and not raise salinity to levels that could damage the marine eco system. The effluent salinity is within the tolerance limits of marine life even before dilution occurs (CSIR Report Jls/Allane/1996).

Bio-fouling of membranes is prevented by using Pneumatic Cross-Flow Air-Sweep cleaning which prolongs the membrane life and increases membrane efficiencies.



16” RO systems been proven to successfully treat wastewater to exceed reuse quality requirements, and numerous large-scale commercial RO plants are in use to reclaim municipal wastewater. The magnitude of these RO-based reclamation plants demonstrates the acceptance that this technology has gained recently. 

GrahamTek uses its unique Submersible Membrane Bio Reactor (S-MBR) which, when combined with its SuperFlux® 16” RO systems, provide a full turnkey and cost effective operation for municipal Wastewater Treatment facilities.

Our holistic solution for treatment of bio sludge from waste water treatment plants offers clients a unique integrated  solution.

The GrahamTek technology can produce potable drinking water of WHO standards through seawater desalination and bulk wastewater treatment of brackish and polluted water sources in a cost efficient and sustainable manner.

Read more about our innovative Water-Waste-Energy Nexus technology

Radio Active Water Treatment

GrahamTek is one of very few global companies that has experience in the treatment of Radio Active water in complex environments. Treatments are specifically applied to Uranium and Radium mines and refineries for cleaning of contaminated equipment and other materials, where the wastewater contains high concentrations of Uranium 226 isotopes. These are challenging designs requiring minimal footprint, high degree of safety, residuals management and varying feedwater matrixes. 

Ports and Harbours

Ports are significant users of fresh water; they are also situated on the largest reservoir of water - the sea - providing an unlimited supply of feed water to process. 

Desalination is a solution that assists the cities that are close to or adjacent to ports simply by removing the port from the major water grid of the city. 

An average medium sized port will consume approximately 10 million litres of fresh water per day. This water is used in cleaning, loading vessels, ice making and various other hydraulic purposes. The GrahamTek 16” SuperFlux® system is already in use in a number of ports where it supplies vessels and ports with fresh water of either industrial or drinking water quality. Click here to view a case study for port use of water.




Disaster Relief

The high mobility of GrahamTek mobile units allows us to be able to provide disaster relief in remote locations ranging from island to desert environments. The compact systems are robust and can be deployed as necessary within a short space of time.



Mining

Water is essential for mining operations globally. It is typically used in dust suppression, equipment cleaning, wet grinding, washing, flotation, leaching, tailing pumping, product transportation, cooling & pollution control. Regional and Public Water utilities are impacted by mining operations such as Acid Rock Drainage from mine waste, Residual Chemicals inline wastewater, Tailings water and other Significant Water use. On the other hand mines are subjected to higher regulations in terms of wastewater effluent and environmental liability while facing an increasing level of water shortages. The contention between mine water demand and the general population in rural areas is increasing as a result of drought and increasing urban water demand. Mines globally are experiencing a continued increase in regulations relating to withdrawal of water from public sources for mining operations. As a result mines need to evaluate alternative sources for water.

The GrahamTek custom designed Submersible Membrane Bio Reactor (S-MBR) combined with its SuperFlux® 16” RO systems provide a full turnkey and cost effective operation for mines to: 

  • Reuse Mine Water 
  • Treat Effluent Water 
  • Treat Acid Rock Drainage 
  • Treat Acid Mine Drainage 
  • Remove Metal from wastewater

Particular Mining Applications

REUSE

The GrahamTek 16” SuperFlux® systems can be completely integrated with mine operations. Being able to operate in unforgiving conditions demanding in excess of 70 Bar pressures, high temperature, low energy, high volume and a small footprint makes GrahamTek the most applicable deep shaft water reuse solution. Units as small as 700 L/min to as large as 14 000 L/min can be provided.      

RECOVERY

Reopening of closed mines where shafts or pits are flooded with Acid Rock Drainage and other wastewater. 

DEWATERING, DRAINING & ACID WATER

Draining and withdrawal of water from shafts or pits flooded to surface including acid drainage is achieved using a custom designed pre-filtration and reverse osmosis unit. The GrahamTek solutions are designed to achieve dewatering capacities in excess of 30 ML/day applications, that will remove elevated concentrations of metals and discharge water to industrial or potable standards. An integrated solution approach using the GrahamTek S-MBR pre-filtration and 16” SuperFlux® system effectively removes metals, arsenic and suspended solids, and achieves balanced PH levels.

 

Agriculture and Industry

A typical application in the Food and Beverage industry relates to Dairy farming; equally, wastewater in abattoirs could be treated and reused as indicated below. The GrahamTek 16” SuperFlux® system is well suited for these operations and is able to reclaim much of the wastewater and reduce not only the strain on public resources but also on the cost of water for these industries. Register here as a GrahamTek Member to gain access to the financial and business models of these industries. 

Dairy

Water use in dairies is on a large scale and requires a high degree of purity. An average dairy facility will use 1 300 000 Litres of fresh water per day of which between 40%-80% will be wastewater depending on the type of dairy product being made. Processing water, which includes water used in the cooling and heating process,  is normally free of pollutants and can  be reused or just discharged into the storm water system generally used for rain runoff water, with minimum treatment required.

Wastewaters emanate mainly from the cleaning of equipment that has been in contact with milk or milk products, spillage of milk and milk products, whey, pressings and brines, CIP cleaning options, and waters resulting from equipment malfunctions and even operational errors. This wastewater stream may contain anything from milk, cheese, whey, cream, separator and clarifier dairy waters, to dilute yogurt, starter culture, and dilute fruit and stabilising compounds. Much of this wastewater is generally combined with sanitary wastewater which is then piped directly to a sewage works. 

Textile

Water is used extensively throughout textile processing operations. Almost all dyes, specialty chemicals and finishing chemicals are applied to textile substrates from water baths. In addition, most fabric preparation steps, including desizing, scouring, bleaching, and mercerizing, use water. 

Effluent starts at the early stage of the raw material where material such as cotton, leather, wool contains several types of pollutant including; blood, faeces, animal dip, crop protection chemicals etc. The second leg of textile processing contains several other chemicals such as salts, acids, bases, buffers, oxidising agents, reducing agents, metals, waxes, oils, fibre, etc. 

These processes use approximately 160-220 litres of water for every 1 Kg of textile processed, resulting in a high volume user and polluter of water. Textile industries are now facing new regulatory requirements globally that affect the cost of disposing of water through normal wastewater systems. It is forcing the industry to evaluate reuse of water sources on a large and competitive scale. An average sized textile factory uses 1 100 000 litres of potable water per day and the larger dye houses use up to 10.4 Million Litres per day. Effluent is at an average rate of 78%-83% of fresh water use.


Power Stations

Seawater Desalination and Power Plants form an ideal partnership. The benefit of a specific integrated design combination whereby turbine power is utilised in the high pressure process for desalination can significantly reduce the cost of water production. GrahamTek has extensive experience in providing seawater desalination to power plants. Click here to review technical reports on similar applications.

Oil and Gas 

GrahamTek has proven technology in the Oil and Gas industry with some of its clients being the global super major companies. Register here as a GrahamTek Member to gain access to the financial and business models of these industries. The GrahamTek 16" SuperFlux® RO systems have applications in speciality areas such as Water Based Drilling Muds and Fracking Water.


Water Based Drilling Muds

GrahamTek 16” SuperFlux® RO is used to produce water for the Water Based Muds (WBM) used by drilling rigs in oil and gas exploration. 

Mud is a vital part of drilling operations. The specific quality of water has a major impact on the fluid dynamics used in the drilling process; it must positively influence and be chemically compatible with the formations being drilled. Also, salinity must be specifically maintained so as not to cause clay swelling or other problems such as changes in the thixotropic or shear thinning quality of the WBM. Providing a consistently high quality of industrial drilling water is achieved through a sea water desalination process which includes pre-filtration and a specific design application of the GrahamTek 16” SuperFlux® system. 



Fracking Water

Presently approximately 60 000 new fracking wells are created annually. Each well is approximately 3 000 meters deep and can use up four to eight million gallons (15,150 m³ to 30,300 m³) of water, typically within about a one week period, to complete the fracking process. 

By combining the specific desalination design of GrahamTek 16” SuperFlux® with the hydraulic fracking operation, the specific energy requirement of the operation can be reduced. GrahamTek's techniques reduce the Environmental Impact that normal wastewater flowback will create from the fracking operation by creating water suitable for agriculture and industry. Furthermore, potable water can then be derived by injecting the treated wastewater (WHO potable standard) into subterranean aquifers.  

Wastewater generated from fracking wells requires disposal or recycling. Up to 60% of the water injected into a wellhead during the fracking process will discharge back out of the well shortly thereafter as flowback wastewater. Thereafter, and for the life of the wellhead (10-20 years), it will discharge up to 100,000 gallons (378 m³/day) of wastewater. This wastewater needs to be captured and disposed of or recycled. 

The costs for hauling away wastewater for deep-well injection ranges between $3 and $7 per barrel ($0.35 to $0.85 per cubic metre). For a newly fracked well, the cost could reach $100,000 for transporting over 14,000 barrels (1,670 m³) of flowback. Add to this a further potential 3,400 barrels (405 m³) each day of transported produced wastewater, at $20,000 per day.

To haul water off-site for disposal over the 20 year life of a hydraulic fracturing well-project could be an estimated $160 million (includes trucking costs, water disposal costs and labour). Wastewater associated with shale oil and gas extraction can contain high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS), fracturing fluid additives, total suspended solids (TSS), hardness compounds, metals, oil and gas, bacteria and bacteria disinfection agents, and naturally occurring radioactive materials. 

In recent years fracking companies have been facing increasing legislation to prevent surface disposing and deep well injection disposing of blowback wastewater. This is forcing fracking companies to evaluate alternative options for blowback wastewater treatment. Due to the remote locations of fracking works, the solutions require a high degree of robust mobility for deployment at remote locations where there are limited availability of spares, trained operators and energy sources. GrahamTek has designed for one of its clients a high mobility unit that combines seawater desalination and flowback wastewater reuse capability. The advance benefits of this technology is restocking acquirers with potable water which reduces the total environmental impact of fracking on the communities.

Read more about: 




Cape Talk Interview on Cape Town Desalination Tender

August 2017

Listen here


GrahamTek Submits White Paper to Cape Town Municipality on Desalination Solution

June 2017

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DuPont Teams Up with GrahamTek to Provide Sustainable Solutions in Saudi Arabia

May 2017

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Off Grid Water Treatment
Download a recent article from Engineering News
Engineering News.pdf (491.45KB)
Off Grid Water Treatment
Download a recent article from Engineering News
Engineering News.pdf (491.45KB)