Research to identify how to improve existing desalination approaches to reduce primary energy use

Project ID: 1769
Principal Investigator: Katherine Guerra
Research Topic: Desalination and Water Treatment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2017, 2018 and 2019
Keywords: None

Research Question

Water treatment technologies can be energy-intensive depending on the feed water quality. The greater the number of constituents you have to remove from the water, the potential increase of water treatment technologies needed, and the energy consumption of those technologies increases along with the cost for the treatment. Currently there isn't one location where all water treatment technologies have been researched with various water quality feeds to truly evaluate the energy requirements to produce potable water. This project aims at providing that source of information to better inform the water treatment industry, policy makers, regulators, and the public of the energy consumption and potential cost of each of these treatment technologies as well as provide recommendations for further research needed in this area.

Need and Benefit

Need: The National Academies in their, Desalination: A National Perspective, report mentioned the need as a priority research area to develop improved energy recovery technologies and techniques for desalination, a need to understand the impact of energy pricing on desalination technology over time, and the need to investigate approaches for integrating renewable energy with desalination. This area of research has been a priority for Reclamation as part of the advanced water treatment research strategy. It is a crucial area as ways to reduce cost and energy consumption are still major concerns for locations to adapt water treatment technologies to increase water supplies. This project not only complements Reclamation but also world wide. The literature search identified as part of Task 1 will help solidify the need for the completion of this work.
Benefit: The benefit of this work is to be able to provide a report that will be helpful to planners, industry, academia, and federal agencies be able to see the energy consumption broken down by a specific water treatment technology that as treatment trains are being designed to treat a specific feed water source, a better understanding on the type of savings that can be done in energy and cost are better understood.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20