Feasibility of salt production from inland RO desalination plant reject brine: A case study

Mushtaque Ahmed*, Aro Arakel, David Hoey, Muralee R. Thumarukudy, Mattheus F.A. Goosen, Mansour Al-Haddabi, Abdullah Al-Belushi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


Production and disposal of reject brine are an integral part of an overall desalination process. For inland desalination plants, this poses a serious challenge to operators, as the option of ocean disposal of reject brine is not available. Various disposal options such as reinjection, lined and unlined evaporation ponds and natural depressions (lake) are currently being used. An alternative approach is to further process the reject brine to extract all the salts. This has the advantages of being environmentally friendly and producing commercial products (i.e., salts and fresh water). A desktop prefeasibility study using data from Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), operating plants in Bahja, Rima, Nimr and Marmul, confirmed the technical feasibility of treating reject brines in simple processing routes using SAL-PROC technology. SAL-PROC is an integrated process for sequential extraction of dissolved elements from inorganic saline waters in the form of valuable chemical products in crystalline, slurry and liquid forms. The process involves multiple evaporation and/or cooling, supplemented by mineral and chemical processing. An analysis indicated that various types of salts including gypsum, sodium chloride, magnesium hydroxide, calcium chloride, calcium carbonate, and sodium sulphate can be produced from the reject brine of PDO desalination plants. These products have an approximate market value of US $895,000 annually.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Brine
  • Chloride
  • Gypsum
  • Magnesium
  • Oman
  • PDO
  • Salt
  • Sodium
  • Sulphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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