Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA) engaged Osmoflo to deliver its patented Osmoflo Brine Squeezer (OBS) as a treatment solution to concentrate brine from the existing ERA operated desalination plants at the Ranger mine site as part of its mine closure and rehabilitation programme. The OBS treatment plant was required to undergo an intensive and rigorous testing process including a three-month continuous Performance Trial to demonstrate full compliance with all operational and process KPI’s. Osmoflo is proud to announce that it has recently achieved successful commissioning completion and has now moved into the long-term operational phase for the plant.
ERA is a provider of clean energy to the world and cares for people and country. Ranger was Australia’s longest producing uranium mine. Processing ceased in January 2021. Over the 40 years of production at Ranger, ERA produced in excess of 132,000 tonnes of uranium oxide for the global nuclear energy market.
Osmoflo installed a 3,000 m3/day Osmoflo Brine Squeezer (OBS) plant at the mine to help maximise the conversion of contaminated wastewater to water suitable for environmental release as part of the rehabilitation activities being undertaken by ERA.
Inoue Takayuki, Managing Director & CEO at Osmoflo said the company is delighted to continue its work at the Ranger mine site. “This project is a significant OBS installation for both Osmoflo and ERA. It is the third major installation undertaken by Osmoflo at Ranger since 2008, with the continued relationship illustrating ERA’s trust in Osmoflo’s tailored water treatment solutions.”
In partnership with ERA, Osmoflo conducted extensive pilot studies prior to the contract award to ensure the right solution was delivered to ERA to solve their unique water requirements. Construction of the OBS plant was completed at the end of 2020, followed by a successful 90-day performance trial.
Osmoflo’s Chief Technology Officer, Neil Palmer, commented that “no two brines are the same in terms of chemical composition and other parameters. The pilot trial undertaken by Osmoflo as part of our project delivery was critical in establishing the final design and effective operating regime of the OBS plant for ERA. Successful commissioning of the OBS plant is demonstration of Osmoflo’s ability to solve “difficult to treat” water challenges. The Ranger OBS is similar to the Leewood plant that Osmoflo installed for Santos, which is used to reduce brine volumes produced by the CSG industry.”
Osmoflo’s contract also includes operations and maintenance of the OBS plant, which is expected to operate until all processing and major rehabilitation activities cease at the Ranger site.
Osmoflo Brine Squeezer (OBS)
Osmoflo’s patented Brine Squeezer (OBS) technology further concentrates reject water (also called brine) from conventional reverse osmosis water treatment plants. The OBS can achieve overall recoveries of up to 95%, depending upon feedwater quality, and is particularly applicable in instances where brine volume must be minimised. The innovative solution includes the use of proprietary membranes and effective use of antiscalants and cleaning regimes. Combined with advanced automation and machine learning to continuously adjust operating parameters, the OBS can provide a lower cost solution when compared to alternative technologies, such as thermal processes and evaporation ponds. Bench scale tests followed by onsite pilot trials are required before implementing full scale OBS and are used to tailor the design and Osmoflo’s operational requirements to meet the individual chemical composition of the feed brine. The OBS is delivered by Osmoflo as a complete water treatment service to clients, including operation and maintenance of the OBS plant.
Aerial photo of Ranger mine site
Aerial photo of OBS plant (bottom of image) at the Ranger mine site
Layout of OBS upgrade
Inside the OBS plant at the Ranger mine site
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