American multinational chemical company DuPont received an Edie Award honouring the benefits of its closed circuit reverse osmosis (CCRO) technology in supporting industrial and commercial customers’ sustainability goals. The technology received the top award in the water, waste and resource recovery category. The 16th Edie Awards is said to be the world’s largest sustainable business awards programme that celebrates business sustainability.
The team was recognised for a project conducted in San Francisco, US, which mutually solved multiple sustainability challenge being faced by the city’s transit system and Cordia, a local producer of steam.
For nearly 60 years, San Francisco had been pumping millions of gallons of water from an underground creek out of the transit system’s Powell Street station. Meanwhile, Cordia had been purchasing municipal drinking water to generate steam for customers and buildings in downtown San Francisco.
To ease pressure on municipal water supplies and help alleviate regional water scarcity, Cordia implemented DuPont’s DesaliTec CCRO technology to purify the transit system’s drainage water to be repurposed for the creation of steam. The solution reduced the volume of water demanded from municipal supplies by 30%, saving 30 million gallons of drinking water per year and meeting the city’s 2025 water reuse goal in one step.
“As demonstrated with Cordia and the city of San Francisco, even the most challenging water can be transformed into an opportunity,” said Alan Chan, its vice-president and general manager. “We thank the Edie Awards for recognising our technology as critical to a future where we optimise the circular nature of water.”
“A consideration for water producers and water consumers investing in new infrastructure is to balance the needs of today with potential future changes in water availability and regulations,” said Kevin Clarke, DuPont technical leader for CCRO.
He added: “In the San Francisco project, the water feeding the DesaliTec CCRO is comprised of a variable blend of the transit waters supplemented with additional water sources — so the feed water today could be different from the feed water a year from now. In cases like this, a purification system able to accommodate variations in temperature, feed concentration, water consumption flow rates, and fouling and scaling conditions is necessary.”
Whereas traditional RO systems are typically designed to purify water for specific, set conditions, CCRO is designed to embrace these changes. With its flexible independent control over recovery, crossflow and flux, and its data-driven intelligence, CCRO systems can operate from 42-98% recovery on a variety of water sources and applications.