Innovation focuses on high-recovery reverse osmosis to conserve water

Veolia Water Technologies’ Design Centre is a dedicated resource within the company focused on accelerating innovation.

Robert Koch, focused on technical development across industrial applications, shares news of a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis technology that offers a 98 percent water recovery rate.

How would you describe the Design Centre?

“We are a dedicated team of innovators focused on building the technologies of the future to meet our customers’ needs. We have a bird’s eye view and take the best of Veolia methods and know-how to share and develop the very best ideas. Our ultimate goal is to strengthen our product-market fit and deliver customer value in our product development process.”


Where does reuse sit on the Design Centre’s innovation list?

Reuse was a primary focus for Veolia, even before the Design Centre’s creation in September 2019. Recycling and reuse are fundamental to how we resource the world.
Previously, when I was in a customer-focused role, this was always a conversation we had with our clients from both an environmental and financial perspective. We have worked hand-in-hand with many clients to develop best practices.
The Design Centre is the next step to take customer feedback on repeated challenges to solve them on a global scale.”


The latest reuse innovation is CaptuROTM, please can we get an overview?

“This is a game-changer for multiple industrial markets. CaptuRO is a high recovery reverse osmosis (RO) technology that has been designed specifically to extract purified water from industrial, brackish and wastewater sources. This means we can supply our clients with the highest permeate water recovery, up to 98 percent, across numerous applications.”

CaptuRO is a high recovery reverse osmosis technology and a game-changer for industrial markets.

What market is CaptuRO best suited to?

“We have our first commercial project for this technology in the United States working with a pulp and paper client; however, this technology truly is versatile. My colleagues in North America developed and validated the technology through intensive pilot testing. Now, working together, we are taking it to the next level to make it available globally. From food and beverage to chemical, petrochemical and healthcare, it is a perfect fit for all general manufacturing.
From pre treatment to wastewater reuse across all applications we can recover water at an extremely high rate. For our customers, this means they can lessen their reliance on the municipal water network to help ensure business continuity, while also reducing overall water stress.”


What is so unique about CaptuRO?

“Firstly, it’s a semi-batch process that enables us to get such a high reuse rate. We systematically employ separate system volume containers upstream of the membranes to ensure that concentration turn-times are optimum. This enables concentrated salts such as silica and calcium sulfate to be purged from the system before they have time to precipitate. This allows the CaptuRO to run at higher water recovery rates while minimizing the potential for membrane scaling and fouling.
Secondly, the technology minimizes the volume of brine generated, resulting in savings in liquid waste disposal costs. Along with this goes electrical energy savings and the potential to further optimize the use of antiscalants.
Last but not least, the semi-batch process automatically adapts to changes in salt concentration in effluent reclaim applications, allowing it to run continuously at an optimum recovery rate.”


What was the customer need that drove this innovation? 

“The customer pain point was really about saving water, in recent years it really has become blue gold. Many of our customers were relying on municipal water which comes with a high price tag and there can be a lot of risk in terms of supply.
Our customers needed to maintain operations, with the same amount of water resources but from alternative sources and at a lower cost and this is our solution.”


What excites you the most about this innovation?

“It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. The water reuse potential is huge so this innovation will protect local water resources and reduce water pollution discharges. It will also help all our customers who need to vastly reduce their water consumption, often driven by a corporate environmental initiative or by a regulatory requirement.”


What is next for CaptuRO?

“I see a bright future. We would like to see this become one of our standard products since both the need and demand are there. After all, reverse osmosis has become a commodity, we cannot meet our water needs without it. The potential as pretreatment of thermal brine concentration processes is already on the radar of our HPD® evaporation and crystallization technologies team who works with clients on large-scale, highly integrated process solutions.”