Voltea’s CapDI © Technology Chosen for Borehole Water Treatment at South African Manufacturing Facility Dec 1, 2020 - Dallas, TX - Voltea, the global leader in salt-free Membrane Capacitive Deionization (CapDI © ) electro-desalination technology, recently won a 1,000 m 3 /day (183 gpm) project to purify water for a manufacturing facility near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. As their largest Industrial Series (IS) System sale to date, Voltea is proud to have won this IS-218 CapDI System for the treatment of borehole water to alleviate the customer’s dependence on the municipal water supply for their daily operations.
This customer, with Zutari as their Engineering Consultant (www.zutari.com), conducted a feasibility study on the use of water treatment technology solutions to most effectively and efficiently treat the local area water. The Port Elizabeth area is known for its water scarcity issues, which precipitated Zutari to explore opportunities that would provide water security to this manufacturing facility beyond a potential day- zero. Of the three feed water supply options; sea water, a nearby lake and an on-site borehole, the on-site borehole water supply was chosen as the most attainable solution to provide a steady source of water to the facility without the risk of affecting the local municipal water supply to the larger community. Naturally, the on-site borehole at the facility had elevated salinity levels that required a water treatment solution.
A line forms in a South African community where residents collect their allowance of fresh water due to heavy drought restrictions.
RESPONSIBLE WATER PURIFICATION Zutari evaluated Membrane Capacitive Deionization (MCDI) as an innovative, lower-cost alternative to traditional reverse osmosis (RO) to purify the on-site borehole water supply for this customer. As the world’s leader in commercial MCDI technology, Voltea’s CapDI was chosen as the representative of MCDI for this application. According to the Zutari study, conventional RO is often associated with high CapEx, maintenance and energy costs due to the energy-intensive pressure process that RO requires to treat water. RO also typically requires extensive pre-treatment. Due to these unfavorable
expenditures, Zutari recommended the use of CapDI to purify the on-site borehole water at the manufacturing facility. “At Zutari, we believe that the best social and environmental performance need to be underpinned by strong financial performance. True sustainability requires the three to be integrally linked. Our solutions always consider the impact on the environment and communities, but we also consciously deliver outcomes that help clients stay and thrive in business. It is for this reason that our engineered solution employs the use of novel technology to achieve water treatment performance on par with conventional means while reducing expenditure over the full lifecycle of the asset.” VOLTEA’S CAPACITIVE DEIONIZATION Voltea’s CapDI is a salt-free desalination technology that removes TDS from water sources with minimal pre-treatment requirements. It eliminates dissolved salts and other minerals via DC current, or electro-deionization, where oppositely charged salt ions are attracted to electrodes, leaving pure water flowing out of the cells in a two-step process of purification and regeneration. A major difference between CapDI and conventional water treatment technologies like RO is its “tunability” feature. This means customers can choose the level of dissolved salts that are removed, as well as enjoy automatic adjustments to the ion removal rate for any fluctuations in feed water quality. Not all applications require the same removal rate, which eliminates any remineralization or blending needed from using traditional desalination and softening technologies.
The sustainable and environmentally responsible features of CapDI are that there are never any soft salts or chemicals added to the system to replace the hard salts that were removed. This prevents non-native, harmful salts and chemicals from being discharged into the local ecosystem, thwarting off the potential of polluting the local water supply for future generations. Traditional water softeners, where hard salts are replaced by soft salts, have been banned in some municipalities, especially those struck by drought who have made environmental concerns a priority.
Figure 1: Voltea’s Industrial Series 48 (IS-48) CapDI System
INNOVATIVE SOLUTION Zutari created a water treatment solution for this customer using Voltea’s CapDI technology as the purification piece of a larger fully automated treatment plant. This plant includes gravity sand filters for pre-treatment, a storage tank and UV sterilization for any bacteria that may be present in the borehole water supply. The entire CapDI Industrial Series System plant will consist of five IS-48 single systems, with a total of 218 modules. Five IS-48 Systems provide enough room to house 240 CapDI modules, which gives this customer space to grow if they discover a need for a larger amount of water to be purified, without having to invest in additional framing equipment. Figure 1 above represents one CapDI IS-48 System, while Figure 2 below illustrates the complete integrated IS-218 plant at the manufacturing plant.
Voltea is excited to work with Zutari on this innovative water treatment plant that provides many benefits to the customer, including high recovery, reduced chemical and energy consumption, plus minimal maintenance compared to traditional RO plants. Voltea's growing list of valued customers and strategic partners are adopting CapDI technology and benefiting from both lower CapEx and significantly
lower life cycle costs compared to conventional, legacy technologies.
Figure 2: Fully integrated water treatment plant (CapDI trains 1-5 highlighted)
ABOUT VOLTEA Voltea has been delivering electro-desalination water treatment equipment to institutional, commercial and industrial customers for more than 10 years. Voltea’s CapDI © Systems remove dissolved salts from water using electricity with less environmental cost than any other available technology. Voltea was named Breakthrough Water Technology Company of the Year at the 2018 Global Water Summit in Paris. Previously, the company was recognized as one of the 21 Technology Pioneers 2013 at the World Economic Forum, listed in the 2011 Global Cleantech 100 and won the best new technology award at the 2010 Global Water Summit.
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