A U.S.-based pulp and paper manufacturer required high purity process and boiler feed water. It was using water from a local well and treating it with a 150 gpm conventional RO system operating at 75% recovery, but this was creating 50 gpm of wastewater – over 26 million gallons per year. The facility wanted to double paper production by adding a second paper machine, but the wastewater flow rate was already at the discharge limit set by the municipal water treatment facility.
Water supplies were nearly tripled without increasing wastewater flow by replacing the legacy RO system with two (2) 200 gpm ReFlex™ RO units. At 90% recovery levels, the new units produce only 45 gpm of wastewater in total. At the same time, specific energy consumption was reduced by roughly 25%. The improved process is more sustainable, making better use of well water supplies and saving energy. In addition, the ReFlex units are less affected by fouling and scaling and have the flexibility to adapt to variations in well water quality, making them more reliable than the old RO system. For facilities without discharge limits, increased recovery reduces waste disposal costs by 50-75%. Disposal is the largest operating expense for most industrial RO.