Greentech Lead America: GE has showcased an innovative
water treatment technology.
The new breakthrough technology eliminates any water
losses in ingredient water production.
GE’s AquaSel non-thermal brine concentrator (NTBC)
technology achieved near-zero liquid discharge (ZLD) and reduced water costs,
without the energy expense associated with a thermal evaporation system.
Today’s technology allows bottling companies to use 75 to
85 percent of the water supplied to their treatment room for bottled water. The
rest is discharged as a waste stream. Using GE’s AquaSel, these companies could
treat and reuse the water to achieve 99+ percent recovery in their plants.
“Billions of gallons of usable water are lost every day
because today’s water treatment technologies have techno-economic limits on how
much water can be treated and reused. GE’s NTBC technology can turn billions of
gallons of lost water into clean, usable water by virtually eliminating the
wastewater streams in a variety of industrial and municipal treatment
processes,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO – water and process
technologies for GE Power & Water.
GE’s AquaSel allows nearly 100 percent of water reuse in
bottling plants and can remove impurities at room temperature.
In a recent pilot study at a beverage company in Asia,
the AquaSel system had a capacity of 36,000 gal/d (5.7 m3/h). In more than
1,000 hours of operation with this new process, the bottler was able to capture
and convert 1.5 million gallons (5,678 m3) of water. GE’s AquaSel system
enabled overall water recovery within the ingredient water room to increase to
The pilot suggests that 30 million gallons per day
(114,000 m3 per day) could be saved by major bottlers if GE’s NTBC technology
was implemented at all of their plants around the world.
Over the course of an entire year, a 30 million gallon
(114,000 m3) savings translates into nearly 11 billion gallons (42 million m3)
of water saved just at this bottler’s facilities. That amount could supply safe
drinking water for a day to more than 150 million people.
GE’s NTBC technology is developed by GE Power & Water
and GE Global Research. AquaSel is designed to achieve greater than 99 percent
water recovery in the ingredient water room, which greatly improves the
water-use ratio of the production facility.
AquaSel runs at a very high recovery on reverse osmosis
reject water, producing a clean filtrate stream plus a small blowdown stream
and a dry salt cake for disposal. The filtrate produced has total dissolved
solids at or below the raw water and can be looped back to the front of the
ingredient water system.