Minnesota Patent of the Month – April 2021

Water treatment systems, like water softeners, remove unwanted minerals using a variety of techniques. Traditional purification methods include reverse osmosis (RO), ion exchange, or electrodialysis. In the case of ion exchange, the system uses resin beads to exchange sodium ions for hard ions (magnesium and calcium). As the resin beads become saturated with these hard ions and lose their sodium ions, the resin needs replacing or recharging. Recharging the resin beads involves a wash system which produces a high level of wastewater. Ecowater Systems, LLC has developed an alternative water treatment system with an improved water recovery ratio, effectively saving water and reducing costs.

 The Ecowater Systems water treatment uses capacitive deionization (CDI) technology. CDI filtration systems generally remove ions from salty water using electrodes to create an electrical potential difference. Traditional CDI systems are good at small scale use, with large scale use requiring too much power consumption for the volume of purified water produced. Ecowater Systems has designed their CDI system to operate without requiring an additional pump to deliver the stored water. The treatment system produces purified water and moves it along to a storage tank. This high pressure storage tank is equipped with a bladder with a pressurized water source. The bladder ensures the pressurized water and treated water remain separate. When treated water is needed, the pressurized water is used to displace it. In other similar setups, this displacement water is then drained away and considered wasted. The Ecowater Systems design actively recovers this water and puts it through the system and increases the total treated water volume. The high pressure system removes some of the power consumption constraints while recovery reduces water loss.. 

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