Brine management: Substituting chlorine with on-site produced sodium hypochlorite for environmentally improved desalination processes

Sabah A. Abdul-Wahab, Mohammed A. Al-Weshahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


The main environmental problem related to the desalination of seawater is the brine discharge coming from the processes of desalination of seawater. For coastal desalination plants, the most practical and least expensive brine disposal method is to discharge it into the sea at the plant's outfall. However, there are several harmful environmental effects caused by this direct discharge. This discharged brine (concentrate wastewater) has many properties, which badly affects the environment. It consists of highly concentrated salts and any un-reacted pre-treatment chemicals. It also brings with it heavy metals resulting from the corrosion of tube and flash chamber wall material. Therefore, the largest impact of desalination on the environment occurs at the outfall of the desalination plant. This work addresses the problem of brine or wastewater generated from desalination production process. The work was conducted with the objective of shedding light on the business opportunities associated with brine wastes by using the brine for on-site generation of sodium hypochlorite. Sodium hypochlorite is a useful and valuable chemical product. It is the most widely used active chlorine compound in disinfection. In general, the suggested experimental process was aimed at the dual benefit of on-site generation of sodium hypochlorite and reducing the concentration of the brine. Therefore, the process will not only generate the sodium hypochlorite, but also will protect the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2437-2454
Number of pages18
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • Desalination of seawater
  • On-site generation of sodium hypochlorite
  • Protection of environment
  • Reject brine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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