We recently hosted a presentation on Voltea, a European system to condition water using less energy and waste than reverse-osmosis (RO) or traditional water softeners.
The Voltea water conditioner uses capacitive deionization to remove ions of metal from water using a small voltage differential. An RO system, on the other hand, requires powerful pumps to push water at high pressure through membranes. By not using high water pressure, the Voltea system uses less electricity, demanding less than 0.5 kWh/m3 of treated water.
Traditional water softeners use the addition of sodium to swap places with the calcium or magnesium that defines the water as ‘hard’. The downside is that softening systems divert a large portion of water as waste and require consistently purchasing salt. The Voltea system, however, requires no added salt and diverts only 10% of the water as waste.
One of the better applications for the Voltea CapDI technology is in cooling towers. By removing salt from the water before it is evaporated within the tower, you can go longer periods of time before having to introduce makeup water to flush out minerals within the tower. Because the water has been softened, having metals removed, there is less matter left when the water is evaporated. Another application is process water for brewing and wine production or any other process use that currently requires large amounts of RO water.