Microelectronics manufacturer Linxens and membrane-based separation and purification solutions company Memsift Innovations have launched the world’s first commercial membrane distillation system for sustainable nickel recovery.
The collaboration began in 2019 when Linxens Singapore embarked on a technical feasibility study with Memsift Innovations, exploring the potential of TS-30 improved membrane distillation system. The results indicated a potential liquid waste volume reduction of over 90% while recovering concentrated nickel sulphate.
Building on these outcomes, a pilot programme launched in 2022 showcased the system’s ability to treat liquid waste and produce high-quality water. Linxens has now embraced this technology on a commercial scale, marking a step towards closing its liquid waste loop.
Together with supplier Memsift, Linxens has unveiled an environmentally sustainable initiative to reduce cost. The membrane system introduced by Memsift reportedly resulted in over 90% reduction in waste disposal costs, coupled with 60% decrease in carbon footprint compared to conventional disposal and incineration methods — according to Velmurugan Ramanathan, director of operations at Linxens Singapore. These reductions, including the estimated annual decrease of 71 tonnes of CO2 emissions, are derived from calculations provided by Memsift. The concentrated solution, involving approximately 26.8 tonnes of nickel sulphate salt for recovery, reflects a carbon footprint of 11.5kg/kg for nickel.
“Linxens engages with local communities, supporting education, healthcare, and environmental conservation initiatives,” Linxens group CEO Cuong Duong said. “By incorporating the membrane distillation system, Linxens aims to initiate a ripple effect of positive change, harnessing its environmental benefits both within our ecosystem and beyond.”
Dr J. Antony Prince, founder and CEO of Memsift Innovations, said that this project will “transform waste into value, showcasing how global industry leaders can collaborate to address UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 and 13 — about water conservation and climate change”.
Images: Memsift Innovations