Welcome to BrineTechTools - Tools for the techno-economic modeling of desalination and wastewater treatment technologies. The software tools are programmed in Python and have been used until now for the modeling of a variety of treatment plants - ranging from seawater desalination to coalmine effluents. These tools were developed within the ZERO BRINE project (ZERO BRINE – Industrial Desalination – Resource Recovery – Circular Economy), funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 730390. More information can be found on the project website.


The BrineTechTools enable a techno-economic simulation of various thermal- and membrane-based water treatment technologies for the recovery of water and minerals. The tools include:

  • Nanofiltration (NF)
  • Reverse osmosis (RO)
  • Electrodialysis (ED)
  • Multi-effect distillation (MED)
  • various crystallizer tools tailored to the salts/minerals being recovered

These tools can be used independently or integrated via a suitable integration platform to simulate entire treatment chains. As a simulation result, the user obtains the equipment sizing (e.g., the membrane area of an RO plant, the number of vessels in an NF plant, etc.), the energy demand (electrical and thermal, if applicable), the recoverable amount of pure water or minerals, and the investment and operating costs for the plant.


Within the gitlab project, each tool has its individual Python script (the file name has a prefix ‘main_’. For example, for nanofiltration: main_nanofiltration.py). At the bottom of the script, exemplary executable lines are provided. The parameter values for the positional arguments are user-defined. Each tool also requires some yaml files as input. These can be found in the ‘input/{tool name}’ folder.

A text file is available for documentation; a more detailed documentation was published within the ZERO BRINE project as Deliverable D5.2.

Enabling researchers

The BrineTechTools represent scientific prototypes developed for specific case studies and in a specific project context. The software tools are not intended for commercial use and their accuracy and usability for other applications is not guaranteed. The open source release is for the purpose of scientific exchange only. If you are interested in further development of these tools, please contact the DLR team.

The latest related publications can be found in our research section.

Integration to treatment chains

To further enhance the capability of these tools, they can be integrated in desired configurations to simulate entire treatment chains. This requires a suitable integration platform. In the ZERO BRINE project, the open source integration platform RCE developed at DLR was used for this purpose. Please contact us if you would like to model a specific treatment chain or case study.

Getting started

Content URL
BrineTechTools gitlab project https://gitlab.com/dlr-ve/esy/items-brinetechtools/brinetechtools


Feel free to get in contact or contribute to brinetechtools.

Accessibility statement

English version below Erklärung zur Barrierefreiheit Diese Erklärung zur Barrierefreiheit gilt für die unter https://dlr-ve.gitlab.io/esy/items-brinetechtools/home/ veröffentlichte Website von Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt e. V. (DLR). Als öffentliche Stelle des Bundes sind wir bemüht, unsere Websites und mobilen Anwendungen im Einklang mit den Bestimmungen des Behindertengleichstellungsgesetzes des Bundes (BGG) sowie der Barrierefreien-Informationstechnik-Verordnung (BITV 2.0) zur Umsetzung der Richtlinie (EU) 2016/2102 barrierefrei zugänglich zu machen. Stand der Vereinbarkeit mit den Anforderungen Die Anforderungen der Barrierefreiheit ergeben sich aus §§ 3 Absätze 1 bis 4 und 4 der BITV 2. [Read More]

Current research

Project ZERO BRINE: ZERO BRINE – Industrial Desalination – Resource Recovery – Circular Economy. Link. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 730390. Publications Micari, M.; Cipollina, A.; Tamburini, A.; Moser, M.; Bertsch, V.; Micale, G. (2019): Combined membrane and thermal desalination processes for the treatment of ion exchange resins spent brine. In: Applied Energy 254, S. 113699. DOI: 10. [Read More]


Imprint according to Section 5 Telemediengesetz (German Telemedia Act) and Section 18 Medienstaatsvertrag (German State Media Treaty)

Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V. German Aerospace Center (DLR) Linder Höhe 51147 Köln (Cologne) Germany Tel: +49 2203 601-0 Fax: +49 2203 67310 email: contact-dlr [at] dlr.de https://www.dlr.de/en DLR’s Executive Board is empowered to act as DLR’s representative. It consists of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla (Chair of the DLR Executive Board), Klaus Hamacher (Vice Chairman of the Executive Board), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karsten Lemmer and Dr.-Ing. Walther Pelzer. [Read More]

Terms of use

DLR images and video – terms and conditions of use

1. Copyright and Terms of Use The copyrights to all copyrighted content contained in this public online presence (i.e. in this website, internet application, app or this social media channel) such as – but not restricted to -, photographs, videos, images and texts are held by the Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V. (DLR), the German Aerospace Center, unless another copyright owner is indicated. Thus, “source: DLR” means that the copyrights belong to the Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt e. [Read More]

Why BrineTechTools?

Being based on Python and open-source, BrineTechTools are accessible and usable by everyone without the need for commercial software. Moreover, these tools provide the following benefits: the techno-economic modeling of each technology is validated against literature / experiments and well documented in the form of research articles the user has full control over the parameter selection (both technical and economic), which allows for application-specific customization using a suitable integration platform, the tools can be integrated to simulate entire wastewater treatment plants Moreover, users from academia and industry have the freedom to further refine the mathematical formulations in the code as needed. [Read More]