Providing world-leading water technologies

Membrane Brine Concentration

The need for brine concentration has never been greater with increased focus on waste minimisation, zero liquid discharge (ZLD) and increased water recycling.


The AMBC is Modern Water’s All Membrane Brine Concentrator process. The AMBC is an innovative solution capable of reducing waste water treatment requirements and maximising clean water reuse, in a wide range of industrial applications, including:

  • Chemicals
  • Desalination plants
  • Food & Pharmaceuticals
  • Power
  • Oil & Gas
  • Petrochmicals
  • Mining

The Market

Around the globe populations are rapidly growing and industries are expanding. Water is now a scarce and valuable resource. Water is used as part of almost every industrial process and many of these industries will have large waste water streams with high salt concentrations (“brine”) requiring treatment. Historically much of this waste water would have been discharged into streams and rivers, polluting the environment.

Now things have developed, environmental laws require companies to treat and responsibly dispose of waste water sometimes as onerous as Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD), so companies do not discharge any liquids into the environment. This is often done with large thermal brine concentrators and crystallisers which evaporate the water and leave only solids for disposal. This is an expensive and inefficient method, as the energy requirements are very large. The efficiency of this process can be increased by pre-concentrating the water with a lower energy ‘brine concentration’ process, to reduce the volume of waste water requiring thermal concentration.

Market Facts

The waste water treatment market is vast and global.

  • The Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) systems market is projected to grow from an estimated USD 4.67 billion in 2016 to USD 6.88 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 8.1% from 2016 to 2021.
  • In India alone, the potential market opportunity for brine concentration solutions across the textiles, distilleries and pulp and paper sectors alone, is expected to cost approximately US$3 billion by 2020.
  • China has thousands of coal-fired power plants and coal-to-chemicals plants which will implement brine concentration at a cost of more than US$10 billion. 

What is the AMBC?

Modern Water’s AMBC is a cost-effective and proven technology for brine concentration. It has been developed from Modern Water’s pioneering work in forward osmosis and utilises bespoke semi-permeable membranes, as part of the process, to separate pure clean water from concentrated brine streams. It is capable of processing highly concentrated brine streams and operates well beyond the boundaries of a traditional reverse osmosis process.

The AMBC utilises special membranes and electrically driven pumps, to efficiently concentrate brine waste, without the use of any heat energy. The AMBC is capable of taking concentrated brine solutions and extracting clean water for reuse leaving a much more concentrated brine stream for final treatment.

Working with partners in various countries, including India and China, Modern Water is able to offer state of the art, bespoke, brine concentration solutions across the globe.

Industrial waste water application

The AMBC process has been successfully used for concentrating a waste stream in an industrial dye manufacturing facility in India. The AMBC is the key process step, it receives RO reject waste water from a reverse osmosis plant and concentrates this further, before being fed to a multi-effect evaporator. This is dirty and challenging waste water, but the AMBC has been reliably operating since it was commissioned in May 2018. 

Flue gas desulphurisation water application

In China the AMBC technology is being used to concentrate a Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) waste water from a coal fired power plant. As China is bringing in new regulations, this is a rapidly growing market and in partnership with Sunup, Modern Water will play a major part in solving the waste water problems introduced by the FGD processes. 

White Board Animation

Here is a whiteboard animation explaining what the AMBC is:

AMBC Applications

The AMBC can be utilised as either a standalone process to concentrate a new waste water stream or added onto an existing process to increase the performance or increase the energy efficiency. 

There are a variety of different waste water streams the AMBC can be used with, including:

  • Industrial waste
  • Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) pre-treatment
  • Reverse-osmosis reject, to significantly increase desalinated water production.
  • Flue gas desulphurisation water
  • Food & beverage products, ect.


Unlike other brine concentration technologies the AMBC does not require thermal energy to operate, as it is purely electrically driven. It has a low power consumption, it is simple to operate and cheap to maintain. It can be used on its own or bolted on to existing waste water treatment systems.

  • Global expertise with construction partners in various countries, including China and India.
  • No thermal power, purely electrically driven.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Simple to operate.
  • Cheap to maintain.
  • Can be used on its own or added on to existing systems. 

Find out more by reading our technical document linked below;

✉ Contact Peter Nicoll
Modern Water plc
Bramley House
The Guildway
Old Portsmouth Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1483 696 000
Fax: +44 (0)1483 506 687
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.