Comprehensive characterization of selected South African brines
Keywords:brines, comprehensive characterization, brine treatment, discharge limits, desalination, reject brine, concentrate management, disposal, sustainability
South Africa produces significant quantities of brines but there is insufficient information on their biological and physicochemical characteristics and nature, which limits the ability to propose sustainable brine handling procedures. This study aimed to comprehensively characterize selected brines from major brine-producing industries in South Africa. This was achieved through an analysis of the majority of the brine constituents, thereby allowing for the proposal of suitable brine handling procedures, the identification and harnessing of potential economic value, as well as the identification of the environmental impact of the brines. The brines were analysed for physical, metallic, organic, and inorganic constituents using a variety of methods including inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The total dissolved solids (TDS) of most of the brines was below 35 000 mg/L and it was concluded that most South African brines may be brackish. All the brines contained toxic constituents in concentrations that exceeded set discharge and re-use limits. It was concluded that comprehensive characterization is crucial in understanding the quality of brines and is a crucial step in proposing suitable brine handling strategies.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Brenda Mehlo, Alison Lewis, Jemitias Chivavava
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