IES technology produces potable water out of seawater brine

DUBAI — Dubai and the whole UAE may soon be able to recycle the concentrated brine resulting from their seawater desalination processing systems, following the partnership forged between two companies based in Germany and Bahrain.

By Jose Franco

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Published: Sat 7 Jul 2007, 11:46 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:16 PM

IES, a German firm specialising in advanced eco-technologies, and CDT-International, a Bahraini firm facilitating technology transfer on environmental protection, have agreed to promote the new technology that would solve problems involving seawater desalination.

Martin Padisak, chairman and CEO, IES, said his company has developed a technology that recycles the environmentally harmful seawater waste brine discharges resulting from the desalination processes.

He added that this involves a self-sustaining process of "deep decalcination", or softening of the brine. The process produces high-quality potable water and valuable minerals, such as magnesium chloride and potassium chloride, out of concentrated seawater waste discharges.

Noting that two-thirds of the world's desalination plants are in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE, Padisak said he hopes that these Gulf states would be among the first users of the new IES technology.

He said the IES has an ongoing negotiation with Taiwan, which could be using the company's new technology within the year. Talks with Japan will begin this month while the other immediate targets are Australia and the US. He added that IES has been talking with the European Desalination Society, which has direct contact with members of the European Union.

Padisak said purchase orders made for the IES desalination system today will have the delivery after 12 months to 18 months. The system, he said, would be made according to the needs of the buyer. It will depend, for instance, on the amount of potable water that needs to be produced out of seawater in a given period.

He stressed that all seawater desalination technologies — reverse osmosis, thermal distillation and electrodialysis, among others — being used today produce harmful brines that are thrown into the coastal areas, gradually killing the natural habitat.

Padisak said 90 per cent of IES technology is "composed within" widely used desalination processes while the remaining 10 per cent is the self-sustaining recycling system (SSRS) composed of two softening sorbent columns. "This means that our system can be attached to the existing desalination processing systems," he said.

He said CDT would help promote the IES technology, and the transfer of such, in the UAE and the five other GCC countries. The distribution will be done through Smart Creative, CDT's UAE partner.

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