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Water Desalination Combined Programs: In Situ Crystallization
Initiated: October 2002
Team: Tina Nenoff, Ranko Bontchev, Jim Krumhansl, Jim Voigt
Large areas of the inland United States contain brackish groundwater. These deposits are prime water supplies for potable water if an inexpensive, reliable and proven technology is discovered. Our team plans to use a multidisciplinary materials science approach to eliminate salt and minerals from that water in a cost efficient, easily implementable manner: the in situ precipitation and crystallization of inert inorganic materials around anionic and cationic brine water components in a room temperature, neutral pH flocculation treatment facility. This process eliminates energy input, salt disposal and membrane costs; only materials costs remain, resulting in 2-3x decrease over current desalination costs. This process will use current city water treatment plants; eliminate costly reverse osmosis pumping and membranes; eliminate brine product pumping/storage; and sell/use crystallized precipitates (building materials or infill). Further, the process will be applicable inland to brine groundwater, and will provide a substantial cost reduction as a pre-treatment process for reverse osmosis.

The goal of this project is to create a low-cost desalination process that uses in situ crystallization of usable nonleachable crystalline phases that have entrapped the components of salt and dissolved ions.

Fall ACS National Meeting Presentation, Boston, MA, August 19, 2002
"Intercalation and ion exchange properties of Hydrotalcite Mg1-xAlx(OH)2Ax.nH2O
(A = NO3-, Cl-, Br-, I-) derivatives"

Ranko P. Bontchev, James L. Krumhansl, Tina M. Nenoff and James Voigt


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