What are the problems faced during saltwater desalination?

What are the problems faced during saltwater desalination?

Clean-water techs become more essential for consumable water because of the climatic changes, developing new patterns of water supply all around the world. Desalination with Desalacion eficiente de agua de mar continues to shift toward the forefront. Despite effectiveness, desalination can be energy-intensive, complex, & expensive.

Globally, more than three hundred million people depend on desalinated water for day-to-day water needs. Presently more than twenty thousand desalination plants function in 150 countries. Desalination tech works with both seawater water & brackish water.

However, there are some issues faced during the desalination process. Here is a round-up of a few of these issues you must know before going for Desalacion eficiente de agua de mar.

1. Enhanced Membrane Performance 

If possible, engineers want to attain the highest salt removal at a very low operating pressure. Typically, SWRO operates with pressures in the range of 60-70 bar. Generally, if the pressure is low, less salt is eliminated from the finished water.

To save on energy & reduce costs, membranes that should maintain salt removal at pressures of 50-55 bar are required. Therefore, researchers are attempting to create membrane materials that can be functioned at high pressures & salinities. Moreover, this not only includes new membrane materials but also how the membranes are assembled & operated.

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2. Altering Seawater Conditions

Sudden & variable seawater conditions—particularly harmful phytoplankton blooms—might subdue the intake pre-treatment system for desalination plants. In certain cases, stand-by DAF (dissolved-air-flotation) systems might be installed for such an occasion, but it’s a large capital outlay for a subsystem that might not run very often.

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3. Membrane Fouling

Material gradually accumulates on membranes in the course of operation, like organic material contaminating the feed water, inorganic solutes, & biofilms. The overall effect is a depletion of permeability, which is generally offset by slightly increasing pressure to keep up the water production.

Moreover, this adds to the power consumption & cost of water over the lifetime of the plant. Even though membrane cleaning is regular, it takes the plant offline & generates liquid waste to be discarded.

4. Brine Disposal

Dumping RO brine into ocean environments might have adverse ecosystem impacts. Because of Brine’s high density, contaminants are worn to the ocean floor where demersal organisms are harmed as there is marginal wave propagation for dilution & mixing.

On the other hand, some countries need dilution &/or diffusers before the discharge of RO brine to the ocean. Moreover, brine disposal can be troublesome for domestic desalination, where it can’t be discharged into surface water bodies or municipal sewers, requiring the necessity of reinjection wells or evaporation ponds. 

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5. Higher Freshwater Restoration

One approach for increasing RO production is devising process designs that boast transient or batch activities. The recirculation of RO brine back to the membrane feed for some time is followed by a discharging step. Recirculation enhances the recovery rate by improving freshwater yield & minimizing brine flow.

However, recent outcomes have been promising, with reported saltwater RO recovery rate improved from the historical standard of 75% to as high as 98%. If you want to achieve a high recovery rate, opt for Desalacion eficiente de agua de mar.

6. Power Recovery

Even though SWRO is the most power-efficient commercial saltwater desalination tech, it still needs high amounts of power. In many systems, electrical energy is nearly 35- to 40-percent of total operating expenses. ERDs (Energy recovery devices) can minimize energy consumption by as much as 60-percent. Moreover, there are also efforts to include renewable power.

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7. Protecting Marine Fauna 

Harm to marine life by seawater intake grids is a serious environmental concern. Sub-terranean intakes can be utilized to mitigate the actions of intake systems on marine communities. Because sub-terranean intakes also offer some pre-treatment, their utilization in small systems can be advantageous. However, for large systems, their installation considerably increases construction time & capital costs.

Moreover, the ability to install sub-terranean intakes depends on the availability of proper geology & sediment characteristics, like sand & gravel with adequately high porosity & transmissivity.

8. Scaling

At higher concentrations of RO brine, salts tend to silt on equipment surfaces, stopping or slackening the desalination process. Another way to address this issue is to deliberately precipitate & take out these salts before desalination or as a temporary measure, thereby enabling additional desalination. However, there is a lot of work going on in the inclusion of precipitation into both membrane & thermal desalination methods, & everyone hopes to see continued innovation in this field.

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Abundant brackish water & seawater sources & fast-developing desalination methods & research will offer significant opportunities to deal with current & future water shortage problems. We hope this blog has provided you with brief instructions on some critical issues faced by desalination plants.

Call to Action

Do you wish to buy the best-quality & power-efficient saltwater desalination technology? Well, you can make your wish come true by opting for Keiken Engineering. Here we have top-quality saltwater desalination technology that comes with extra engineering services & personal advice for your professionals. You can call us at +34 91 057 72 54, to get more details about us.