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  5. > Outlook on Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) Market in India

Outlook on Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) Market in India

  • October 2013
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 47 pages


Table of Contents

A Small Market with Big Growth Potential

The ZLD market is mainly dependent on regulatory policies and subsequent compliance. The prospect of easier environmental clearance has been a driving force. This market insight deals with the chief drivers and restraints that affect the industry while also providing the market size and future growth potential. Moreover, this research offers a global outlook and how this relates to the Indian market and deals with the typical industry challenges and regulatory policies currently in place.

Executive Summary

• The ZLD market is presently in growth stage with a market size of $X million in 2012 and growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of X% during the period of 2012 to 2017.
• The ZLD market is concentrated in certain locations like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Orissa, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh.
• Stringent implementation of water discharge laws and the social responsibility of the corporate world for environmental clearance will be the major drivers of this market.
• In the next 5 years, there will be few crucial mergers in the ZLD market and many small participants would phase out leading to consolidation of ZLD market.
• Low-cost technologies will dominate the ZLD market as currently it is very expensive for widespread adoption both from fixed and operating cost points of view.
• Textiles, distilleries and breweries, and power and petrochemicals would be the major end users of this ZLD market.

ZLD Systems : Characteristics

• A ZLD system means that no liquid waste leaves the boundary of the facility—which could be a plant or a huge residential complex.
• ZLDs use evaporators and crystallizers to leave only solid residue.
• There are many ZLD systems; a few that have been tested include:
oConventional lime/soda softening followed by secondary desalting treatment using reverse osmosis (RO) or electrodialysis reversal (EDR)
oSeeded RO (or slurry precipitation and recycle reverse osmosis process) for treatment of first and second stage RO brine
oMembrane distillation (MD) or forward osmosis (FO) for the treatment of first-stage RO brine
oRecovering salts using the SAL-PROC process by geo-processors for beneficial use in the chemical processing industry or water treatment plants
oBrine concentrators and/or crystallizers process desalting concentrate to form a salt that can be disposed of as a solid waste while recovering additional water

Seeded RO

• Seeded RO is a modification of RO technology which incorporates recirculation of seeded slurry through the RO system.
• Seed crystals are introduced into the feed stream and pumped into tubular RO membranes. The concentrate is then passed through cyclone separators and the seeds are separated.

• MD is a low-temperature separation technology that takes place through the pores of a hydrophobic micro porous membrane.
• The volatile components of a heated-feed solution evaporate and pass through the pores and condense in a cold distillate stream on the permeate side.
• The commercial constraint is that the flow rate is low and there is less availability of membranes specific for MD process.


• FO is a separation technology that utilizes the osmotic pressure of a feed solution.
• The difference between conventional RO technology and FO process is that FO enhances the osmotic gradient whereas RO technology impedes it.
• The 2 restraints of widespread commercial use are the lack of optimized membranes and that the separation flow rates are slow.

Crystallizer Technology

• Crystallizers are used along with brine separators to reduce the concentration of brine in waste water.
• Crystallizers can also be used along with RO technology, but compared with the efficiency the capital cost and energy usage is much higher.
• Crystallizers are used for brine disposal in the range of X to X gallons per minute (gpm).

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