Development of an additional step to current CO2-based CaCO3(s) dissolution post-treatment processes for cost-effective Mg2+ supply to desalinated water

Liat Birnhack*, Shaul Oren, Orly Lehmann, Ori Lahav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


New water quality standards, specific for desalinated water, have been recently approved in Israel. To satisfy the new quality criteria a novel post-treatment process has been developed, aimed at cost-effectively meeting the new standards as well as supplying Mg2+ ions, required for both health and agricultural reasons. The paper introduces a modification to the original process. In the modified process calcite is dissolved using CO2 (instead of H2SO4, as in the original process), and/or a combination of CO2 and H2SO4. An additional presented feature is the option to elevate product water pH by CO2 stripping rather than NaOH dosage. The modified process can be implemented as an add-on to existing CO2-based calcite dissolution post-treatment systems or in cases where a restriction is posed on the total hardness value in the product water, since the modification extends the flexibility in the product water quality, with respect to the ratio attained between total hardness and alkalinity concentrations. Cost estimation reveals that upgrading a conventional post-treatment process based on CO2 dissolution of CaCO3 to the modified process for attaining [Mg2+] of 10 mg/l, can result in an increase in the operational costs of between 0.15 and 0.69 $cents per m3 of product water, depending on the cost of chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • CO-based calcite dissolution
  • Desalination
  • Drinking water
  • Magnesium
  • Post-treatment


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