The Azimuth Project
Desalination

Contents

Idea

From the Wikipedia article on desalination:

Desalination refers to any of several processes that remove excess salt and other minerals from water. More generally, desalination may also refer to the removal of salts and minerals, as in soil desalination.

Water is desalinated in order to convert salt water to fresh water so it is suitable for human consumption or irrigation. Most of the modern interest in desalination is focused on developing cost-effective ways of providing fresh water for human use in regions where the availability of fresh water is, or is becoming, limited

A number of factors determine the capital and operating costs for desalination: capacity and type of facility, location, feed water, labor, energy, financing, and concentrate disposal. While noting that costs are falling, Desalinated water may be a solution for some water-stress regions, but nott for places that are poor, deep in the interior of a continent, or at high elevation. Unfortunately, that includes some of the places with biggest water problems.

One of the main environmental considerations of ocean water desalination plants is the impact of the open ocean water intakes especially when co-located with power plants. Many proposed ocean desalination plants’ initial plans relied on these intakes despite perpetuating ongoing impacts on marine life.

Here is a wonderful timeline of desalinisation technologies.

New environmentally friendly ways of performing desalination include nano-filtration, bio-mimetic and finally freeze/thawe processing.

References