Utilization of desalination wastewater for SOx, NOx, and CO2 reduction using NH3: Novel process designs and economic assessment

Jonghun Lim, Jehun An, Hyungtae Cho, Junghwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many countries discharge considerable amounts of desalination wastewater directly into the ocean, which cause environmental pollution, destruction of ecosystems, and economic losses. Desalination wastewater contains valuable metal ions such as Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+, which react with carbonate and sulfate ions; therefore, it has the high potential to reduce the NOx, SOx, and CO2. Thus, this study designed process for the utilization of desalination wastewater to capture and utilize NOx, SOx, and CO2 using NH3. A process model was developed, which was composed of following three steps: (1) metal ion separation in desalination wastewater based on pH swing processes for separating Ca2+ and Mg2+ as Ca(OH)2 and Mg(OH)2, respectively; (2) NOx capture and SOx capture and utilization using generated Mg(OH)2, and (3) CO2 capture and utilization using NH3. Subsequently, to demonstrate the economic validity of the suggested process, an economic assessment was conducted and total annualized costs (TACs) of the conventional and proposed processes were compared. As a result, ~96 % of NOx was captured, the SOx capture efficiency was 99 %, and ~94.7 % of CO2 was captured. Thus, a reduction of 11.2 % in the TAC was achieved using the proposed process, indicating its high economic feasibility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116257
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korean Institute of Industrial Technology within the framework of the following project: “Development and application of carbon-neutral engineering platform based on carbon emission database and prediction model [grant number KM-22-0348 ]”.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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