"...It is said, the Source of knowledge is its Authority..."

Through being the First-to-Patent, First-to-Market, First-to-Manufacture, First-to-Install and First-to-Operate as well as all subsequent patents on 16” RO; GrahamTek is the undisputed source of knowledge on 16” RO and ultimately it is the go-to place for Credible Science Information and Expert Knowledge regarding the application and design of 16” RO systems.

16” RO unleashes significant benefits to clients, the gap is understanding how to capitalise on this knowledge. Through the GrahamTek Academy we train engineers and consultants of our Strategic Partners to capitalise on the benefits as outlined below. 16” RO is in use by the worlds largest desalination plants and it is claimed by the operators of those plants that their water production cost is close to US$ 0,50 per Cubic Meter.

According to the International Desalination Association, when comparing 16” RO amongst higher flux membranes and pressure centre arrangements ,  they are some of the technologies that have tremendous benefits for desalination projects. The Association recommends that the selection criteria for a Water Treatment Plant be on the following basis:

Quantifiable Criteria

The tariff cost of the operation will be based on the following quantifiable criteria:

  • Capital Cost
  • Operating Cost
  • Energy Usage
  • Availability & Reliability
  • Greenhouse Emissions   

These criteria are typically measured against Cost of Energy, Plant Size, Site Specifics/Characteristics, end user product water specification. 

Non-Quantifiable Criteria

 Reliability and Maintainability of technology

  • Interdependency with Power/Electricity supply
  • Robustness of Process
  • Flexibility & Responsiveness of Technology to circumstantial changes in demand load and feed quality
  • Future technology and developments  

The table indicates the comparative performance measures of GrahamTek 16” technology compared with other desalination and the traditional 8” RO systems.  Click the table to enlarge. The table further indicates that the advanced GrahamTek SuperFlux® 16” technology outperforms any other technology and exceed all quantifiable criteria. The impact of this performance on project engineers, project sponsors and clients are as follows: 

Reduced Physical Footprint

Historically footprint considerations were not a major issue. In more recent times however the development of desalination close to luxury and ecologically sensitive areas makes it a requirement for project sponsors to reduce footprint as far as possible and to preserve the architectural and landscape silhouette to retain a natural camouflage and reduced impact on fauna & flora.Using the GrahamTek 16” RO system will reduce the actual physical RO footprint of a single deck configuration by 36%. The physical footprint to deliver 1 000 000 litres per day using traditional 8” RO will require a physical space of approximately 50m2 whereas using GrahamTek SuperFlux 16” RO will use only 32m2, including pump equipment. The associated benefits gained is directly related to:

a) Civil Engineering & Construction cost (CAPEX)

b) Infrastructure Maintenance Cost (Life-Cycle Cost)    

c) Environmental Impact: Desalination and Water Treatment plants are typically positioned close to water sources. This means these plants are built in ecologically sensitive environments that require extensive pre and post construction Environmental Assessments. Footprint reduction is a key to reduce visual and physical Environmental Impact. 

Reduced Energy Use

GrahamTek SuperFlux technology uses a Proprietary Energy Recovery technology. It is expected that with new Membrane Technologies the SWRO process is fast reaching the bottom threshold of 2-2.5 Kwh/m3. GrahamTek SuperFlux without any new membrane technologies are already at the average of 2.8 Kwh/m3. Whilst GrahamTek can in future retrofit its installations with new membranes that will achieve target benchmarks of 2-2.5Kwh/m3, it has developed a new energy recovery unit that reduces the energy use from net 2.8 Kwh.m3 to 2.1Kwh/m3. A GrahamTek installation with the energy recovery combined with future membrane technologies could achieve 1.5-1.8 Kwh/m3.


GrahamTek has designed plant systems that require minimum decision and intervention requirements at operator level. This implies that high capacity plants can be operated by simple two - three push button controls. This control system is backed by a sophisticated real time monitor and near real time reporting system. The impact of this near real time reporting reduces the operator response time to rectify any operating inconsistency, reducing the gap between feedback and repair and consequently all associated transaction cost. In addition to the near real time reporting the plant incorporates a real time health monitoring system, this system functions as an Early Warning system to avoid a catastrophic failure on critical plant components and over all operating plant risk.

Improved Recovery Rate

GrahamTek SuperFlux uses a highly optimised Cross Flow Flux Configuration which makes it highly efficient for high TDS applications.Currently the recovery rate for GrahamTek SuperFlux  in an average +38 000 TDS environment is 44.9% recovery after stage 1 RO. This highly optimised Cross Flow Flux Configuration has also positively affected the Boron retention , reducing the Boron level in product water to less than 0.9mg/l from a feed value of +5mg/l (Maximum allowable value is 2.4mg/l WHO). This improved recovery rate reduces the comparative energy and feed water requirement.


 GrahamTek measures availability on two levels; (i) Operational Uptime and (ii) Critical Component Availability.

Operational Uptime: It is imperative that GrahamTek demonstrates availability to its clients prior to large plant commissioning. A typical evaluation will run for approximately 3000 cumulative operating hours during which statistical deviations are measured in equipment performance and product quality. Some of the tests conducted in various regions are outlined here for review. All Operational Availability to date has indicated values in excess of 99% (measured for both Quality & Quantity) when operated according to operational guidelines. Availability is significantly improved by redundancy and modularity of GrahamTek system designs, these designs allow modules of plants to be decommissioned in an unlikely event of a critical failure or scheduled maintenance. This allows the plant to operate at reduced increments of as little as 5% ensuring minimum disruption in these circumstances to demand water supply.  
Critical Component: GrahamTek provides a sophisticated critical component insurance plan that ensures component availability to its operating plants globally through its Strategic Partnerships. This insurance cost is absorbed in the OPEX Life-Cycle cost of the plant. 


Demand Flexibility

While RO systems are designed based on the feed water conditions and tolerances, most RO facilities are also not able to cope with changes in product demand. The highly granular and modular system design of GrahamTek SuperFlux enables significant demand side flexibility for the clients of GrahamTek. This is achieved through integrated telemetry from product storage facilities to the central processing unit that turns RO banks on and off as demand fluctuation occurs. 

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