Blue Element develops, designs and markets Zero Liquid Disposal water treatment equipment through a process of Natural Evaporation Distillation (NED). The NED technology is able to treat high salinity waste water at low energy cost while avoiding issues with scaling and corrosion. The technology is proven and in operation across China.
At elevated temperatures air can contain a lot of water. The NED process uses this principle to absorb water out of waste water without the need to boil the waste water. When evaporating water from a waste stream in this way most polluting elements will be left behind in the original solution and inorganic minerals will start to reach saturation and crystalize. These crystals can subsequently be removed. The hot and humid air will be carried to over to a separate system where the heat will be removed for reuse causing the water vapour to condense and turn into rain.
Blue element's NED equipment requires a lot less energy than traditional evaporation. We reuse all the heat energy that is recovered in the condensation process through the heat pump principle and because our equipment has limited issues with scaling and fouling the energy consumption is stable even over the long term. Moreover, since we evaporate at low temperatures we can use any form of waste heat available. For that reason the electricity consumption can be as low as 15 kwh/m3 condensed water.
The NED technology is most suitable for highly contaminated waste water with high salinity. Moreover, high hardness and high COD do not fundamentally reduce the effectiveness of our technology. Sectors in which we have successfully tested our equipment include: Coal to chemicals, pesticides, power generation (sulphur scrubbing), oil and gas produced water, food, pharma, dye, epoxy, metal processing, RO concentrate, paper (black liquor), landfill leachate and many more.
The NED technology has the ability to treat highly concentrated waste water for which no other treatment solutions exist except for incineration, which is very expensive and causes secondary pollution. The NED technology is able to do this at low energy cost, with equipment that requires limited maintenance and is robust in operation even with unstable waste water compositions. In some cases, we can recover and separate valuable minerals from the waste water.