Latest Innovations in Seawater Desalination Processes

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental and Green Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 5422

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Energy Engineering, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería, 41092 Sevilla, Spain
Interests: desalination; solar energy; forward osmosis; pressure-retarded osmosis; multi-effect distillation; salinity gradient power; reverse electrodialysis; power cycles

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Guest Editor
Solar Thermal Applications Unit, CIEMAT-Plataforma Solar de Almería, 04200 Tabernas, Spain
Interests: desalination; solar energy; forward osmosis; pressure-retarded osmosis; multi-effect distillation; salinity gradient power; reverse electrodialysis; power cycles; CSP+D; nanofiltration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water scarcity and the depletion of water reservoirs are increasing threats in many areas of the world. It is estimated that 66% of the global population suffers from severe water stress for at least one month per year, and this share is expected to increase in the near future. In this regard, seawater desalination is a feasible solution to mitigate this issue. It has experienced rapid growth in the last two decades with a four-fold increase in the installed desalination capacity worldwide. Among the different available desalination technologies, reverse osmosis (RO) dominates the market, producing 69% of the total desalinated water, due to its lower energy consumption in comparison with thermal technologies. However, RO presents drawbacks such as membrane fouling and degradation, brine management, and the passage of specific contaminants. Other emerging techniques are being investigated to further reduce the energy consumption and water production costs of the desalination process, such as forward osmosis, pressure-retarded osmosis and nanofiltration.

This Special Issue on “Latest Innovations in Seawater Desalination Processes” seeks high-quality works focusing on the latest novel advances in desalination processes, mainly aimed at membrane-based seawater desalination and including emerging technologies such as forward osmosis and pressure-retarded osmosis.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Progress in membrane and thermal desalination processes (forward osmosis, pressure-retarded osmosis, reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, multi-effect distillation, membrane distillation).
  • Advancements in desalination processes powered by renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, ocean, etc.).
  • Innovative combined power and desalination schemes (Rankine and Brayton cycles).
  • Zero liquid schemes (brine valorization/recovery).

Dr. Bartolomé Ortega-Delgado
Dr. Patricia Palenzuela-Ardila
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • desalination
  • forward osmosis
  • pressure-retarded osmosis
  • multi-effect distillation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 1665 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Cu2+ and Pb2+ in the Feed Solution on the Water and Reverse Solute Fluxes in the Forward Osmosis (FO) Process Using Nanofiltration (NF) Membranes
by Amirsajad Atashgar, Daryoush Emadzadeh and Boguslaw Kruczek
Processes 2023, 11(7), 2198; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11072198 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1043
Abstract
The application of nanofiltration (NF) membranes in the forward osmosis (FO) process to remove heavy metal ions from wastewater is an emerging concept. Unlike NF, FO does not require an external driving force. Although the product, a dilute draw solution, must further be [...] Read more.
The application of nanofiltration (NF) membranes in the forward osmosis (FO) process to remove heavy metal ions from wastewater is an emerging concept. Unlike NF, FO does not require an external driving force. Although the product, a dilute draw solution, must further be processed by NF to produce pure water and reconcentrate a draw solution, the feed to that NF process is “clean”, which minimizes membrane fouling. This paper examines the role of Cu2+ and Pb2+ in the feed solution on the water and the reverse solute fluxes in FO process using novel thin film nanocomposite (TFN) NF membranes. The TFN membranes were fabricated by in situ interfacial polymerization of piperazine (PIP) and 1,3,5-benzenetricarbonyl trichloride (TMC) containing different amounts of dispersed halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) nanoparticles functionalized with the first generation of poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers. The presence of Cu2+ and Pb2+ in the feed solution decreased the reverse flux of MgCl2 by at least 2.5 times compared to the experiments with pure water as a feed. Simultaneously, the water flux also increased. The corresponding rejections of Cu2+ and Pb2+ in the FO process ranged from 94.5% to 98.1%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Innovations in Seawater Desalination Processes)
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28 pages, 1017 KiB  
Article
Economic–Financial Assessment of Seawater Desalination Plants in Northern Chile to Reduce Hydric Scarcity and a Proposal for the Environmental and Sustainable Use of Brine Waste by Cultivating the Microalga Dunaliella salina to Produce β-Carotene
by Tomas Gabriel Bas, Rodrigo Fariña, Fernanda Gallardo and Macarena Vilches
Processes 2023, 11(6), 1668; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11061668 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2382
Abstract
Climate change and global warming generate serious consequences and disturbances by drastically modifying historical temperature and precipitation patterns. Water scarcity is one of the most revealing phenomena of these instabilities. This transdisciplinary bibliometric and economic–financial research focuses on analyzing two aspects: first, the [...] Read more.
Climate change and global warming generate serious consequences and disturbances by drastically modifying historical temperature and precipitation patterns. Water scarcity is one of the most revealing phenomena of these instabilities. This transdisciplinary bibliometric and economic–financial research focuses on analyzing two aspects: first, the feasibility of implementing seawater desalination plants as a solution to water scarcity in northern Chile. Investment and amortization costs of the desalination plants were determined (NPV-IRR-IRP). NPV showed a positive value indicating a recovery of the initial investment and a surplus over profitability. The IRR was higher than the discount rate calculated for NPV, which showed that the investment project was accepted. The IRP indicated that the initial investment of the plant would be recovered in 3.7 years. Second, an innovative and environmentally sustainable solution to the brine (NaCl) waste generated by desalination plants is proposed through the cultivation of Dunaliella salina microalgae tolerant to high brine concentrations to produce β-carotene. The analyzed desalination plants and the sustainable use of brine residues offer interesting economic perspectives to a 10-year projection establishing a surplus over profitability. The SWOT analysis estimates an excellent production of β-carotene through the microalgae and alternatives to the problem of sea pollution by concentrated brine waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Innovations in Seawater Desalination Processes)
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20 pages, 3214 KiB  
Article
Cogeneration of Fresh Water and Electricity with High-Temperature Power Cycles: Comparative Assessment of Multi-Effect Distillation and Reverse Osmosis
by Patricia Palenzuela, Diego-César Alarcón-Padilla, Bartolomé Ortega-Delgado and Guillermo Zaragoza
Processes 2023, 11(4), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11041181 - 11 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1500
Abstract
The pressing problems of water scarcity in many parts of the planet make water desalination one of the technological solutions for guaranteeing the fresh water supply. However, desalination processes require high energy consumption, mainly provided by fossil fuels. The integration of renewable energy [...] Read more.
The pressing problems of water scarcity in many parts of the planet make water desalination one of the technological solutions for guaranteeing the fresh water supply. However, desalination processes require high energy consumption, mainly provided by fossil fuels. The integration of renewable energy sources into desalination processes is a promising option for decarbonizing the desalination sector. As most water-scarce regions with access to seawater frequently have high solar irradiation levels, it seems appropriate to exploit the sun to power the desalination process. This work presents the assessment of two integrated solar power and desalination systems regarding efficiency and water production. Two desalination processes (multi-effect distillation and reverse osmosis) are studied for potential coupling with the combined cycle of a central receiver solar plant to produce electricity and freshwater. In the case of the multi-effect distillation plant, it is integrated by replacing the Rankine cycle condenser of the combined cycle. In the case of the reverse osmosis plant, it is powered by the electricity generated from the combined cycle. For this comparison, the 21st of March has been considered as the design point and Almería (in the Southeast of Spain) as the plant location. The results show that the thermal cogeneration option renders a worse outcome (thermal efficiency of 50.2% for LT-MED case) than the decoupled generation of electricity and water (thermal efficiency of 53.3% for RO case), producing 18% less fresh water than the RO configuration (3831 m3/d vs. 4640 m3/d), due to the 6% penalty in the efficiency of the Rankine power cycle in the MED configuration as a result of increasing the condensation temperature from 42.6 °C to 70 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Innovations in Seawater Desalination Processes)
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