Specialty chemicals company LANXESS showcased its new spiral-wound membrane elements for seawater desalination at this year's Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) in early June 2014.
Jean-Marc Vesselle, Head of LANXESS` Liquid Purification Technologies business unit: “Seawater makes up some 97 percent of all the water on earth. The desalination of seawater for use in farming and in drinking water production is therefore a very attractive alternative. We expect a rapidly growing market in the years to come. Energy-efficient, eco-friendly desalination technologies like reverse osmosis play a major role in this field. For this and many other areas of water treatment, Lewabrane membrane elements are ideal in combination with our Lewatit range of ion exchange resins.”
The family of products currently encompasses three grades of reverse osmosis (RO), which were specially developed for sweater desalination. LANXESS is producing the reverse osmosis elements at its German plant in Bitterfeld, which was opened in 2011. Main areas of application include the production of boiler feed water, wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation and full demineralization for microchip fabrication.
Practice tests passed with flying colors
Prior to official market introduction, the new membrane elements were tested for several months in desalination plants on the Red Sea in Egypt. The new LANXESS elements meet or exceed the relevant industrial standards in continuous production under real conditions.
The Lewabrene elements have been undergoing testing in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, since March 2014 in a commercial, industrial-scale desalination plant. Under otherwise comparable conditions and in compliance with all required process parameters, an excellent water quality was achieved at a high permeate flow, for example.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.3 billion in 2013 and roughly 17,000 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and DJSI Europe) and FTSE4Good as well as CDP’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).