Life HyReward project uses the brine from the reverse osmosis process in seawater desalination as a high-salinity feed stream and treated wastewater as a low-salinity stream. The two allow to generate electricity through renewable blue energy.
The first testing phase of this project is the one that we have now launched at the Alicante desalination plant, operated by Sacyr Water, and with the support and collaboration of the owner of the installation, the Mancomunidad de los Canales del Taibilla, where RED technology for energy generation will be validated and optimized.
The second testing phase will be carried out in a sewage treatment plant to study the fouling of the membranes caused by wastewater, as well as the possible passage of organic micro-pollutants through the ion exchange membranes.
In the Alicante desalination plant, the energy production will be tested using brine from the desalination plant and product water, in order to optimize the operating conditions and energy output.
After a few months, the plant will be relocated to the Alcudia desalination plant in Mallorca to test out the real project conditions, that is, producing energy from the salinity gradient between desalination brine and treated wastewater.
In this project, Sacyr Water partnered with Dutch sister companies REDstack (spin-off of WETSUS, the European Center of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology of the Netherlands) and Pure Water Group in consortium, which offer a solid base of specialized knowledge in the development and commercialization of electromembrane technologies.
Electrodialysis equipment from Netherlands
Incorporating RED into the conventional reverse osmosis process will allow recovering up to 20% of the energy used in the reverse osmosis process by generating clean and renewable energy from seawater brine, reducing CO2 emissions from the desalination process.
In addition, it reduces the salinity of the brine before it is discharged into the sea.
Reverse electrodialysis is a process able to generate electrical energy from the salt gradient between two solutions of different salinity. This energy is known as blue energy, considered completely renewable and sustainable, free of CO2.
Life Hyreward (LIFE20 CCA/ES/001783) is funded by the European LIFE programme. The project began on November 1, 2021, has a duration of three and a half years and a €2.2 million budget.