Industrial Solar: Public funding for technology to reduce salt load in wastewater

SolarSpring GmbH, K-UTEC AG, K+S Group, LMBV and Fraunhofer IKTS join efforts in the project HaSiMem for the recovery of salt and water from stockpile leachate through a combined membrane distillation-crystallization process. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and SolarSpring will be supported with a total grant amount of € 233,254.

The availability of water of a suitable quality is a growing challenge worldwide. Saline industrial wastewater is problematic in several ways: it pollutes rivers and lakes, makes it more difficult to obtain drinking water, and causes pipes to rust faster. Globally, around 293 million tons of salt were produced in 2019.
The interdisciplinary project HaSiMem has been initiated to address the reduction of salt in wastewater. The start of the three-year project funded by the German government is set for February 1st, 2021. Solar Spring GmbH, together with K-UTEC AG, K+S Group, LMBV (Lausitzer und Mitteldeutsche Bergbauverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH) and Fraunhofer IKTS, will implement, in a first phase, a small pilot plant. If this assessment is positive at the end of the project, the next step in the exploitation of results will be the design, construction, and operation of a demonstration plant with an average hourly water evaporation rate of at least 1000 l/h. 
The pilot programme will be implemented at various company sites of the K+S Group and the LMBV, with the expected benefit being the reduction of salt in wastewater and the possibility to produce marketable salts. 
The project is of model character and can be applied to other chemical industry sites which produce wastewater containing sodium chloride.