The joint project “HaSiMem - Water recovery from tailings pile leachates based on membrane distillation processes and combination with crystallization”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is headed by K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies and will be implemented over the next three years with the partners Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS, Solarspring GmbH and the application partners K+S AG and LMBV mbH. Using the example of saline waters from tailings piles of the potash industry, it will be investigated whether the membrane distillation process offers advantages in water treatment compared to conventional evaporation on an industrial scale.
“Through great efforts and high investments, we have already achieved a great deal in reducing the environmental impact of saline water,” explains Dr. Martin Eichholtz, who heads the project at K+S. At the K+S Werra plant, for example, the volume of saline water has already been reduced by 60 percent since 2000. “Nevertheless, we still have an ambitious road ahead of us, and want to further improve the water quality of the Werra and Weser rivers - technological innovations can also contribute to this, with which the saline waters from the potash tailings piles can be treated more effectively and at the same time in a more environmentally friendly manner,” says Eichholtz.
After all, in addition to the goal of further reducing the environmental impact from mining, K+S is also pursuing a clear climate strategy. “We are therefore pleased to be working with our partners to advance a new process for treating saline waters,” Eichholtz concludes.
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