The world is growing, and global food processing leader Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is helping to feed it. Producing quality food, livestock feed, and bio-fuel requires a reliable supply of highly purified water – often from multiple sources of varying quality. ADM’s legacy multi-stage reverse osmosis (RO) systems have been the standard technology for removing salts from water sources, however these traditional systems left much to be desired. At several sites, they were plagued by excessive microbial growth (bio-fouling) and mineral scaling, requiring frequent cleanings-in-place (CIPs). CIPs temporarily shut down production, reduce the facility’s productivity, and shorten membrane lifespans. Furthermore, the legacy systems struggled with seasonal variations in source water quality. Instead of a hands-off process, water production had become a headache. ADM needed a better way to secure clean process water, so they called Desalitech.
ADM adopted Desalitech’s patented Closed Circuit Reverse Osmosis (CCRO)™ systems as their new standard for water purification, replacing traditional multi stage reverse osmosis systems. Thanks to Desalitech, ADM enjoyed dramatic improvements.
One site saw recovery improve from 75% to 93% (88% without addition of acid), cleaning-in-place (CIP) frequency is at a dramatically low level of once per quarter, and boiler cycles were increased from 7 to 90 saving $84,000 annually. Even with the low CIP intervals, membranes showed no evidence of biological activity at an 8 month inspection. Another site saw CIP frequency drop by 50% when operating at 85% recovery even with a limiting factor of difficult to treat soluble aluminum. At a third site, Desalitech unit was able to sustain performance at 90% recovery on challenging wastewater that would limit a traditional 3 stage RO to 83.4% recovery. This is unheard of with traditional RO – barium sulfate is known to cause severe membrane damage when scaling occurs.