Cost-Effective Recovery of Concentrated Cooling Tower Blowdown Using the CERRO Process

Lindsey Nicole Larson, University of Texas at El Paso


The Concentrate Enhanced Recovery Reverse Osmosis (CERRO) process is a seawater-RO unit that can cost-effectively achieve extremely high recoveries from water high in silica, carbonate and sulfate concentrations. This relatively new technology takes advantage of the induction time of potential foulants to recover more water than what is normally achievable with a conventional desalination system. The scope of the project was to evaluate the efficiency of the CERRO process as a pilot study using cooling tower blowdown which varied in water quality parameters daily. It was found that the CERRO pilot could successfully achieve 85% recovery, and the main limitation on recovery was due to the presence of organics in the feed water and pilot system. A laboratory study was performed on the efficiency of granular activated carbon (GAC) as a possible pretreatment system, and an economic analysis was performed for a full-scale CERRO system.

Subject Area

Water Resource Management|Environmental engineering

Recommended Citation

Larson, Lindsey Nicole, "Cost-Effective Recovery of Concentrated Cooling Tower Blowdown Using the CERRO Process" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10687024.