A pilot-plant for the selective recovery of magnesium and calcium from waste brines

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The problem of brines disposal has raised great interest towards new strategies for their valorisation through the recovery of minerals or energy. As an example, the spent brine from ion exchange resins regeneration is often discharged into rivers or lakes, thus impacting on the process sustainability. However, such brines can be effectively reconcentrated, after removal of bivalent cations, and reused for the resins regeneration. This work focuses on developing and testing a pilot plant for selective recovery of magnesium and calcium from spent brines exploiting a novel proprietary crystallization unit. This is part of a larger treatment chain for the complete regeneration of the brine, developed within the EU-funded ZERO BRINE project. The pilot crystallizer was tested with the retentate of the nanofiltration unit processing the spent brine from the industrial water production plant of Evides Industriewater B.V. (Rotterdam, The Netherlands). Magnesium and calcium hydroxide were selectively precipitated by adding alkaline solution in two consecutive steps and controlling reaction pH. Performance was assessed in terms of recovery efficiency and purity of produced crystals, observing in most investigated cases a recovery of about 100% and 97% and a purity above 90% and 96%, for magnesium and calcium hydroxide, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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