A novel brine precipitation process for higher water recovery

Mojtaba Azadi Aghdam, Flavia Zraick, Julien Simon, James Farrell, Shane A. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A three-step demineralization process for removing scale-forming substances from brine solutions produced from nanofiltration (NF) of water was developed. The process is designed to remove substances that would lead to scale and membrane fouling during additional stages of NF or reverse osmosis (RO). Tests were performed to determine the most suitable dosages and mixing times for each reagent. The first step in the demineralization process employs ferric chloride for removing phosphonate scale inhibitors via co-precipitation with ferric hydroxide. The second step of the process increases the solution pH value to promote carbonate mineral precipitation. The third step involves barium sulfate precipitation promoted by barite seed crystals. Saturation indices for precipitation of mineral solids were simulated using the Phreeqc thermodynamic modeling program. Water recovery from the treated brines was modeled using the ROSA package for simulating permeate and concentrate compositions for NF processes. The three-step demineralization process allowed the recovery rate for the brine solution to be as high as the initial feed water, and achieved a total water recovery of >. 97%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
StatePublished - May 2 2016


  • Antiscalant co-precipitation
  • Brine precipitation
  • Calcium carbonate precipitation
  • Ferric chloride
  • Intermediate concentrate demineralization
  • Membrane scaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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