Desalination by pulsed electrodialysis reversal: Approaching fully closed-loop water systems in wood pulp mills

Alvaro Gonzalez-Vogel*, Juan J. Moltedo, Orlando J. Rojas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


A pulsed electrodialysis reversal (pEDR) process is proposed to desalinate spent water after particle removal, biological and chemical coagulation, which are commonly used as a sequence in Kraft pulp mills. pEDR affords closed-loop processing, reducing the need for freshwater intake while maintaining the quality of recirculating process streams. Compared with conventional electrodialysis, pEDR minimizes production losses (from 5 % to 0.6 %), extending the time for hydraulic reversal (from 15 min to at least 2 h). Simultaneously, the conductivity of the effluent is significantly reduced, from 2100 to 200 μS/cm, reaching a quality similar to the feed water. The operation cost (0.38 US$/m3) is factored in the techno-economic viability of the process water recirculation, which is also demonstrated for its scalability. Additionally, WinGEMS simulation highlights the benefits of installing a pEDR unit, positively impacting mill water under different recirculation rates. Overall, we show remarkable gains in water economy, operation (maintenance and fouling), and quality, which are critical factors in achieving resource sufficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113518
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date14 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Effluent recirculation
  • Electrodialysis reversal
  • Kraft process wastewater


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