Keywords: sorbents, caesium, titanium, uranium, vanadium, seawater desalination, concentrated brine, valuable elements, strategic metals, functional groups, selectivity recovery, extraction, salt recovery, metal recovery, polymeric chelating resin, waste recovery, effluent, brine management, scrap
Strategy of deriving 'wealth from waste' from concentrated brine of desalination plant
Research and technological developments are being pursued vigorously all over the world to reduce the cost of desalinated water. Thermal and membrane-based desalination processes are very well known and plants are being operated to augment the demand of fresh water essential for drinking in water-scarce countries and to sustain the industrial processes. Any further improvement in energy reduction can only be marginal considering the complexity of the desalination system. The alternative approach is to add value by recovering edible salt, rare and valuable metals, such as caesium, titanium, uranium and vanadium, from the reject brine streams. In this regard, a novel polymeric chelating resin was designed and developed in Desalination Division, BARC laboratory with significant potential for this achievement. In this paper, the characteristics and potential of the resin have been described for the recovery of valuable elements based on experimental findings.