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CEE Seminar: Disrupting Desalination: Temperature Swing Solvent Extraction for Hypersaline Brines

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Monday, November 11, 2019
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12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Ngai Yin Yip, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University
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CEE Fall 2019 Seminar Series

Hypersaline brines, e.g., produced water from oil and gas extraction, are of growing environmental importance but are technologically under-served by today's desalination methods. In this talk, we present a radically different approach for hypersaline desalination, termed temperature swing solvent extraction (TSSE). The technology utilizes a low-polarity solvent that is immiscible with aqueous solutions to extract water from hypersaline brines. Because water solubility of the solvent is highly temperature-sensitive, a mild temperature swing causes the aqueous phase to demix from the solvent, yielding product water. We demonstrate the potential of TSSE to desalinate hypersaline brines with exceptional salt removal and showed high water recovery of actual brines. Capability of TSSE to treat high-scaling propensity feed streams is presented and prospects of the technology for zero liquid discharge is examined.