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South Korean industrial company adopts pressure exchanger technology to advance new category of clean energy
Energy Recovery Inc. has signed a mutual cooperation agreement with Seoul-based global company GS Eng. & Construction Corp. (GS E&C Corp.), which is a part of Korean conglomerate GS Group, to advance osmotic power generation using Energy Recovery's PX Pressure Exchanger technology. A pilot program is already underway and it is anticipated that a unit will be operational in 2014 at GS E&C Corp. R&D center in Korea.
The process of Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO) is created by mixing of seawater and freshwater and the resulting osmotic power serves as both a renewable and consistent source of electricity. While still the in the early stages, the best estimates of global production potential of osmotic power exceed 1,600 terawatt hours, or the equivalent of half of Europe's entire energy demand.
Initially developed for seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination, Energy Recovery's PX devices have shown potential and interest across multiple industries.
The devices are currently deployed at SWRO desalination plants all over the world. By recycling the energy typically wasted as part of the reject stream, the PX devices-which operate at 98% efficiency-reduce energy use by up to 60%, helping to make desalination an affordable solution to global water scarcity. Energy Recovery's devices function on a similar principle in osmotic power processes.
"We're thrilled to partner with Energy Recovery on osmotic power technology that promises to bring about innovative and sustainable change," said Mr. Jeong Woo Seo, CTO of GS E&C. "We chose the PX based on the value and proven reliability and performance that it has provided to us and dozens of other engineering firms worldwide for over two decades."