Japanese engineering company Toray Industries has developed a high boron removal reverse osmosis membrane element (RO) for seawater desalination, the first of its kind.
Boron is highly toxic when consumed. The World Health Organisation’s guidelines call for boron levels in drinking water to be 0.5mg per litre or less. Seawater has 4 to 7mg per litre of boron, which is 10 to 50 times the level in land water. Using traditional RO once can reduce boron levels to 1 to 3mg per litre, meaning the process would either have to be repeated, or the resulting water needs to be diluted with pure water.
Toray’s reverse osmosis membrane boosts the boron removal rate to halve the boron levels in the desalinated water compared to levels using conventional RO membranes, improving the reliability of water quality.
Toray aims to supply areas suffering from water scarcity in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the US, Europe, and Africa.