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Re: Mineral removal from well water

I know of a refinery that uses reverse osmosis 
for feedwater pretreatment.  They're actually 
saving money using RO instead of traditional 
softening because their well water is really poor 
quality and has some ions that traditional 
softening doesn't remove.

At any rate, membranes have improved and costs 
have come down for RO.  And RO might result in 
some financial benefits that help it to pay for 
itself, depending on what all is in the well 
water:  reduced fuel consumption if the boiler 
blowdown stream can be reduced, less scaling in 
the pipes, possibly less waste generation in the 
wastewater treatment plant.  Not to mention the 
issues of using traditionally softened blowdown 
as makeup water for the starch solution in the 
case of this particular facility.  

Feedwater tends to be overlooked as a raw 
material whose quality might be improved in order 
to prevent pollution...

Sorry I can't be more specific about the 
financial end of this, but I wanted to get a word 
in about the practicality of RO for large-scale 
feedwater pretreatment.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 16:17:56 -0400
>From: "Comer, Laura" 
>Subject: Mineral removal from well water  
>To: "Abcarian, Julie" 
<Julie.Abcarian@dep.state.fl.us>, "Babb, David" 
<David.Babb@dep.state.fl.us>, "Galocy, Betsy" 
<Betsy.Galocy@dep.state.fl.us>, "Graves, Aprilia" 
<Aprilia.Graves@dep.state.fl.us>, "Humphreys, 
<Charles.Humphreys@dep.state.fl.us>, "Scarboro, 
John" <John.Scarboro@dep.state.fl.us>, "Syrdahl, 
<Slade.Syrdahl@dep.state.fl.us>, "Wielkens, 
<Donatus.Wielkens@dep.state.fl.us>, "Bodin, 
<Christopher.Bodin@dep.state.fl.us>, "Burns, 
Richard" <Richard.Burns@dep.state.fl.us>, "Cooey, 
Sally" <Sally.Cooey@dep.state.fl.us>, "Gephart, 
<Albert.Gephart@dep.state.fl.us>, "Leonard, 
<Brenda.Leonard@dep.state.fl.us>, "MacCormac, 
<Deborah.MacCormac@dep.state.fl.us>, "Richards, 
William R." 
<William.R.Richards@dep.state.fl.us>, "Thompson, 
Paul" <Paul.Thompson@dep.state.fl.us>, "Valin, 
Debby" <Debby.Valin@dep.state.fl.us>
>Cc: "P2Tech??? (E-mail)" <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
>I have received a technical assistance request 
from a facility that currently
>uses a water softener (potassium chloride) to 
remove minerals (primarily
>calcium) from well water for use in their 
boilers.  Volume of water treated
>is ~170,000 gallons/month and they've been told 
by the boiler manufacture
>this treatment is essential for efficient 
operation of the boilers.    The
>water is then reused as make  up water for a 
starch mixture used in the
>manufacture of corrugated cardboard.  The 
problem is the salt content from
>the water treatment makes maintaining the 
appropriate gel temperature for the
>starch solution challenging.   They've had 
recommendations of reverse osmosis
>or nanofiltration but those recommending it have 
indicated extremely high
>operational costs with these systems.   The 
facility would like
>recommendations for these and other alternative 
treatment but along with that
>they are interested in getting some idea of the 
daily operational costs
>involved with any alternative treatment. 
>The current system is only costing them about 
$3500/year to replace the
>filter materials and about $9/day for potassium 
>Laura M. Comer
>Pollution Prevention and Clean Marina Program 
>FDEP - South District
>PO Box 2549 Fort Myers, FL 33902-2549
>239/332-6975 x 170      FX 239/332-6969
>Florida Pollution Prevention Roundtable 
>local marinas:

Kirsten Sinclair Rosselot, P.E.
Process Profiles
P.O. Box 8264
Calabasas, CA 91372-8264


(818) 878-0454