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Advanced Water Treatment Research

Energy and Renewable Energy

Desalination Energy Requirements

Desalination by any process involves energy. The exact energy amount depends on the temperature and the amount of salt in the water. Higher salt concentrations require more energy. Thus, energy costs go up with each recovery reiteration. As a bit of water is removed and purified, the rest of the water has a higher salt concentration and so, it will require more energy to separate the next unit of water.

Most of the energy needed for desalination is for pressurizing water for membrane desalination, and heating or freezing water for thermal methods.

See more information on energy efficiency and use in desalination.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources may operate individually or in a hybrid configuration to fit your water desalination needs: from small to large scale processes, coastal to rural regions, and thermal to electrical-driven processes. (Print out a handout for renewable energy pdf)

.showing a solar panel for desalination

Science and Technology Program Projects

ID Title Start End Contact
2326 Investigating the Opportunity for Wind-Powered Desalination in Arizona 2008 2008 Tom Poulson
9081 Optimization of Energy Recovery Seawater Reverse Osmosis Desalination Systems 2005 2009 Steve Dundorf

Desalting and Water Purification Research Program Reports

Report Title Performing Agency Date Report # See also
Energy Efficiency
Reduced Energy Consumption Evaporator for Use in Desalting Impaired Waters Water Reuse Technology; Alamo CA Dec-94 11 Thermal
Desalination Research and Development Workshop Report National Water Research Institute; Fountain Valley, CA; USBR; Denver, CO Jan-01 64 Decision Support
Improving the Thermodynamic and Economic Efficiencies of Desalination Plants: Minimum Work Required for Desalination and Case Studies of Four Working Plants University of Nevada; Reno, NV Nov-03 78 Ancillary Improvements, Decision Support, Case Studies
Photovoltaic Reverse Osmosis Desalination System ITN Energy Systems, Inc.; Littleton, CO May-04 104
Renewable Energy

Halophyte Crops and a Sand-Bed Solar Concentrator to Reduce and Recycle Industrial, Desalination and Agricultural Brines

University of Arizona; Tucson AZ; Texas A&M University; El Paso TX



Solar Facilitated Concentrate Management

Thermal Desalination Using MEMS & Salinity-Gradient Solar Pond Technology

University of Texas at El Paso; El Paso, TX



Thermal Energy from Solar Ponds

Solar and Waste Heat Desalination by Membrane Distillation

University of Texas at El Paso; El Paso, TX



Thermal Energy from Solar Ponds

Photovoltaic Reverse Osmosis Desalination System

ITN Energy Systems, Inc.; Littleton, CO



Renewable Energy - Photovoltaic

Wind-Powered Reverse Osmosis Water Desalination for Pacific Islands and Remote Coastal Communities University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu HI Apr-09 128
Wind Power and Water Desalination Technology Integration Texas Tech University; Lubbock TX Jul-09 146