Unique Technologies

 Unique technologies promoted by Mekorot in the field of desalination:

 

*Desalination of effluents for agriculture – Mekorot is conducting an advanced pilot project at the Shafdan Plant in Rishon Lezion in relation to wastewater desalination and recycling it as effluents to agriculture: wastewater that has undergone a purification process, usually multi-stage, which removes polluted elements from them and facilitates its reuse for agriculture. The purpose of the pilot project is to bring the recycled water for agriculture to a "quarterly" level, the quality that even exceeds the necessary standards. In this way, Mekorot is essentially preparing, well ahead of time, for the next breakthrough – the desalination of wastewater for the development of agriculture in Israel. The breakthrough in the desalination of wastewater for agricultural use will enable the treatment of wastewater in much smaller areas, and this will lead to savings of approx. NIS 40 million a year for Israel's water industry.

*Flow Reversal Technology: Mekorot is examining the unique desalination technology
of "reverse flow". This is in order to increase the amount of water produced compared to the amount of water that feeds the desalination plant (reclamation ratio). In this way, the desalination process can be streamlined even further and the amount of water produced can be increased.

*Reducing the concentration of boron in desalinated water: Mekorot registered a global patent several years ago on the removal of boron from desalinated water. Boron is a chemical element which, at high concentrations, can cause damage to certain agricultural crops. In the conventional desalination process boron is only partially removed. Mekorot has succeeded in developing technology that significantly helps to improve the removal of boron from desalinated water for irrigation, by means of a simple and low cost operation.

 

*Disposal of brine from desalination plants: Mekorot is taking measures to remove brine from the desalination process. This is in order to ensure re-use of the same water for agricultural and industrial purposes and also to introduce cost savings.

 

Examples of Mekorot’s brine disposal processes:

 

*The Sabha Desalination Plant in Eilat –

Two unique ways of removing the brine were developed at the plant: the first is diverting the brine from the brackish water desalination plants to produce a mixture with seawater. The mixture is desalinated in the plant, thereby achieving two benefits: a use is found for the brine from the brackish water [desalination] plants and a reduction is achieved in the brine concentration in the water that feeds the seawater desalination plant; and the second is redirecting the brine from the seawater desalination plant to the salt pools of the “Salt Company”. Here too, there are two benefits: use is found for the brine from the seawater desalination plant (especially in summer) thereby raising the salt yields in the salt pools, which, until then, were fed by seawater. This is due to the fact that the salt content in the brine is proportionately higher than its content in seawater.

 

*The Shizafon Brackish Water Desalination Plant (about 40 km north of Eilat) –

Diverting all the brine to Kibbutz Neot-Smadar and using it for irrigation. The result: on the one hand, reducing the cost of the water due to the disposal of the brine, while on the other hand, increasing the amount of water available for irrigation.

 

*Nave Zohar Brackish Water Desalination Plant (the Dead Sea) –

Diverting the brine for use in the industrial plants in the region.

 

*The Granot and Lahat Brackish Water Desalination Plants (Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi)

The brine is directed to a common and innovative brine pipeline, which extends from the Grant Desalination Plant, close to Kiryat Malachi, to the Ashkelon coast, over a distance of approx. 30 km.

Mekorot is examining innovative technologies for the treatment of the brine that is today redirected at several of the company’s plants to evaporation ponds. Since this is a relatively expensive solution, Mekorot is promoting alternatives, in order to reduce the use of these ponds for the disposal of brine.

 

Mekorot’s excellent capabilities in the field of desalination in Israel have resulted in the expansion of its activities to international markets. In Cyprus, for example, its subsidiary Mekorot Development & Enterprise is working to increase the amount of water through desalination. Thanks to accurate engineering planning, and maintaining a high performance level, the two plants constructed by Mekorot Development and Enterprise, in Limassol and Larnaca will provide about 40% of the water required for consumption on the neighboring island. Mekorot’s desalination technologies have provided a solution to the growing problem of a lack of water in Cyprus, for the benefit of all its inhabitants.