Smart technology is transforming the math of the desalination process
It is more of an irony that 3/4th of the part of the earth is filled with water, yet we are facing “water crisis” issues. But, just imagine, if you felt thirsty, could you help yourself with the water directly obtained from the ocean? No! Well, that is the problem. Most of the areas of our planet are filled with oceanic water, which makes up 97%, the remaining 2.5% is frozen, and only 0.5% of the water bodies are left out for drinking. But with the introduction of the Efficient Desalination plants,people are looking forward to the 97% salty water to be converted for the consumable purpose.
All we need is more establishments of desalination plants, and the world will never have to worry about water scarcity anymore. The desalination plants function by using the Reverse Osmosis (RO) process. In this article, we are going to discuss RO in detail and understand how the desalination of ocean water can help us deal with the issues related to waterscarcity.
What do you understand by Reverse Osmosis?
Before we delve into discussing how the problem of water crisis can be managed, we need to know how the process of Reverse Osmosis works. To understand Reverse Osmosis better, you need to know the science behind Osmosis.
For instance, let us understand the process of Osmosis by considering the example of soaked raisins in a cup of water. What do you notice after leaving the dried raisins soaked for a few hours –we see that the raisins have bloated up and are floating in water! The water in which the raisins were soaked has now seeped into its skin, and this process is known as Osmosis. When separated by a thin, semi-permeable membrane, water travels from its higher concentration (low-density liquid) to its lower concentration (high-density liquid). That means the raisins do not discharge the water; instead, they absorb their surrounding water.
The exact opposite process takes place in Reverse Osmosis –water moves from higher density to lower density medium across a thin membrane. However, the liquid won’t make the movement on its own; it has to be pressured or squeezed to make it pass through the membrane. And this phenomenon is being used in the Efficient Desalination plants.
Although this is one efficient method of desalinating ocean water, the reverse osmosis process consumes high volumes of energy. If we roughly look at the figures, 4000 liters of water can be produced by using 13 kW/hrpower. Although the establishment of desalination plants are not very expensive, the point of concern is the amount of energy consumed.
Read: Brine Disposal: How do efficient desalination plants get rid of this toxic remnant?
How can the introduction of advanced technology help with the issue?
Quite a significant number of technologies are being introduced into the market to deal with the desalination of water.
1-Reverse Osmosis with sea waves: Companies are coming up with some exciting ideas, and one such approach is to make use of the current from the sea waves to apply the pressure for enabling the membrane to separate the soft water from the unwanted hard particles. This will reduce the consumption of electricity, and thus a load of excess consumption of energy can be resolved. In this means of technology, the sea waves are going to exert all the pressure on the saltwater to move across the semi-permeable membrane, and the process of reverse Osmosis can be conducted. Also, this is one of the most inexpensive methods of water purification. And this method is not only economical but also incline towards the greener side and isn’t harmful to the environment. Also, the waves are generated 24 x 7; therefore, there would be an uninterrupted power supply.
2-Make use of the OTEC: The Efficient Desalination plants can now function based on Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). The principle used in the process is elementary. Warm water can be collected from the sea surface, and they put into a chamber and then depressurized. The lower the pressure of the chamber drops, the lower will be the boiling point of water; and thus, steam can be easily generated, which can be further condensed, and drinking water is obtained. However, the question is –where should the steam be condensed to form into the water? We will make use of the deep seas. The steam should be piped down to the region where the temperature of the sea is pretty cool so that the vapors can be easily condensed and return as liquid water that is suitable for drinking.
3-Desalination plants with nuclear power: Even nuclear power can be taken into consideration for the process of ocean water desalination. The immense heat energy received when the nuclei of the atoms split can be easily obtained, cheap, clean, and will work round-the-clock. Although it is an inexpensive method that can be quickly taken into consideration, what makes the process questionable is the safety of human settlements. However, the idea of putting up a small nuclear plant at 100 MW on a barge on the outskirts of the town is not outlandish. Instead of putting a cable down for extracting power for the desalination of water, a tanker can be used for the shuttle purpose to carry water from the shore to the plant and generate for us, clean drinking water. Also, smaller nuclear power plants in the essence of submarines can be hidden underwater for months to produce fresh water.
4-Solar Power and Wave: The options of substituting electricity with other means of energy have been proposed, and all of them are viable methods of Efficient Desalination plants.Also, a desalination plant can be easily powered with the combination of solar power and the energy obtained from waves. Read: Why Desalination Plants are Important for Water Treatment Plants?
There is a lot of entrepreneurial scope in the desalination of water, primarily due to the rise in water crises. And the methods and options being discussed above in the article are definitely bringing about a change in the entire scenario of freshwater production. If we move beyond it, a lot can be done too, and there is ample scope for the introduction of different kinds of technologies for the successful functioning of the Efficient Desalination plants.
Definitely, technology is bringing about a drastic change in the way we are going to live our lives. A few decades back, it was almost impossible for us to imagine that oceanic water can also be used for the purpose of drinking. Yet our questionable thoughts are now being transformed into action.
Are you looking for establishing Efficient Desalination plants? Then you have landed up in the correct place. At Keiken Engineering, we take pride in delivering satisfying results to our customers with a versatile solution and green desalination techniques for the production of freshwater. To know more about us, you can give us a call at +34 91 057 72 54, or you can even email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.