Filtration for Seawater Applications
The Importance of Seawater Filtration
Seawater is used in many applications, from cooling water for power plants to desalination for drinking water. As it contains high levels of chloride, materials that come in contact with seawater must have high chemical resistance, such as polymers or special alloys. Seawater also has a high organic and mineral content and must be filtered to protect downstream systems such as heat exchangers in cooling systems or membranes in desalination systems.
The Benefits of Seawater Filtration
Here is a brief explanation of the applications using seawater in their processes which require filtration:
MF / UF Protection
Effective prefiltration is essential to protecting and improving the integrity of microfiltration/ultrafiltration membranes and maximizing their performance and lifespan. Filtration reduces the particle load, especially those that can cause mechanical damage and saves flushing water, energy and chemical use.
NF / RO Protection
Fine filtration is required by nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membrane manufacturers as a pre-treatment process to prevent clogging and physical damage to the membrane surface and layers, and to reduce the formation of biofilm.
Power generation plants and large production facilities typically require a large quantity of cooling water and thus are often located near the sea. This cooling water is used for once-through cooling to lower the temperature of critical equipment. Filtration is often required at the intake to protect the process, and at the discharge point in order to follow strict environmental regulations.
Offshore Injection Water
In the oil industry, water injection is where water is injected into the oil field to increase pressure and production, and to improve oil recovery rates. Produced water, contaminated with hydrocarbons and solids, needs treatment prior to disposal or reinjection. Seawater is a source for offshore production facilities and the intake is placed at a sufficient depth to reduce the concentration of algae. Both the produced water and the seawater require filtration in order to protect equipment and the wells themselves.
Below is a summary of why seawater filtration is needed, and its benefits (click the image to enlarge):