The evolution of membrane design has led to vast improvements in performance in wastewater and brackish water treatment plants in recent years, but while the physical limits of the technology may have been pushed close to its limits there are still ways that sustainability and efficiency can be improved in the overall system and DuPont Water Solutions novel pre-treatment technology B-Free is one of them
Biofouling is one of the most common and severe problems in the operation of a reverse osmosis (RO) system. Unchecked, it causes significant operational problems such as frequent interruption, damage to the membranes, intense chemical and energy use, and regular cleaning-in-place (CIP) of the RO.
DuPont B-Free is a novel vessel-based media technology that efficiently mitigates the effects of biofouling in RO systems, ensuring reliable protection in the heart of the desalination plant. It can have a massive impact on the stability of downstream RO operations, slashing the need for membrane and cartridge replacements and unplanned downtime due to cleanings. The technology also has the advantage of being modular and scalable, it enables an important reduction of Clean-In-Place (CIP) frequency by up to 75% and may double the RO membranes and cartridge filters lifetime. The B-Free customers will be able to achieve a low-touch and stable plant operation with up to 50% lower operations downtime required.
The DuPont B-Free solution, which had previously been tested in the DuPont Global Water Technology Center in Tarragona, has now been validated by Elmasa, a company with more than 45 years of experience in the water industry, in an industrial scale pilot trial, in real-life conditions.
Together with Ultrafiltration pre-treatment, B-Free technology is expected to achieve complete trouble-free RO operations with enhanced plant availability. This will reduce maintenance rates and operating expenses, extend the lifetime of RO membranes and, because no chemicals are needed (only air and water), it will improve the sustainability footprint.
Water scarcity is an increasing problem around the world, and solutions that are applicable and scalable are urgently needed as the world’s climate continues to change. With proven robustness and value, DuPont B-Free pre-treatment technology is now available globally. It is one of several recent innovations DuPont has introduced to help decrease the economic and environmental cost of water treatment to help combat water scarcity, and it is aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.