Accounting for central and distributed zero liquid discharge options in interplant water network design Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Elsevier Ltd Brine and bittern waste streams are classified as a byproduct of seawater desalination operations, as well as many inorganic industries. As such, many of those industries are challenged to develop and implement sustainable, cost-effective strategies for managing water usage and wastewater discharge. As a result, zero liquid discharge goals have garnered a lot of interest for the purpose of enhancing strategies for wastewater handling. Zero liquid discharge may be achieved using a number of methods, including technologies through which industrial wastewater is reduced to dry solids/salts. This would mostly involve wastewater processing to brine water quality, using standard brine-producing wastewater treatment methods, followed by conventional zero liquid discharge techniques, which in turn transform brine wastewater to salts/bitterns. Salt sludge and bittern waste from zero liquid discharge processing have no adverse effects on the environment. Moreover, many techniques allow for the recovery of extra-purified water streams, as a result of wastewater-to-brine processing, and/or brine-to-salt processing. Recovered water streams may be directly reused, or even utilized to enhance the quality of other wastewater streams before reuse. Since compliance with stringent industrial wastewater regulations is through zero liquid discharge applications, this work discusses the incorporation of zero liquid discharge processing options onto interplant water network synthesis problems. Accounting for the presence of both central and distributed zero liquid discharge processing schemes enables the identification of cost-optimal interplant water networks, when stringent wastewater discharge requirements are imposed. This paper focuses on a specific class of water integration problems, which involve brine management. A case study is used to illustrate the proposed approach and to highlight the importance of accounting for zero liquid discharge considerations, to develop grassroots designs for interplant water networks. For a given industrial city layout, four different scenarios have been carried out, and each case was associated with certain wastewater discharge requirements. As a result, differing optimal interplant water network designs have been attained for each of the cases, which have been investigated.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Alnouri, S. Y., Linke, P., & El-Halwagi, M. M.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Alnouri, Sabla Y||Linke, Patrick||El-Halwagi, Mahmoud M

publication date

  • January 2018