Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 142

Water desalination


1 Introduction 1
1.1 Desalination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1.1 Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1.2 Considerations and criticism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.1.3 Experimental techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.1.4 Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.1.5 In nature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.1.6 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.1.7 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.1.8 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.1.9 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
1.2 Saline water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.2.1 Use in the United States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.2.2 Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.2.3 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.2.4 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.2.5 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.3 Fresh water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
1.3.1 Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
1.3.2 Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
1.3.3 Water distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
1.3.4 Numerical denition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
1.3.5 Aquatic organisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
1.3.6 Fresh water as a resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
1.3.7 Accessing fresh water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
1.3.8 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
1.3.9 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
1.3.10 Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
1.3.11 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

2 Distillation 27
2.1 Multi-stage ash distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
2.1.1 Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27


2.1.2 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

2.1.3 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.1.4 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.2 Multiple-eect distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.2.1 Operating principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.2.2 Trade-os . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
2.2.3 Advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
2.2.4 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
2.3 Vapor-compression desalination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
2.3.1 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
2.3.2 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
2.4 Vapor-compression evaporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
2.4.1 MVR process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
2.4.2 Thermocompression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
2.4.3 Comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
2.4.4 Eciency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
2.4.5 Some uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
2.4.6 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
2.4.7 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
2.5 Vacuum distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
2.5.1 Laboratory-scale applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
2.5.2 Industrial-scale applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
2.5.3 Molecular distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
2.5.4 Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
2.5.5 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
2.5.6 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
2.5.7 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

3 Ion exchange 42
3.1 Ion exchange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
3.1.1 Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
3.1.2 Regeneration wastewater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
3.1.3 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
3.1.4 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
3.1.5 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

4 Membrane processes 47
4.1 Membrane technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
4.1.1 Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
4.1.2 Mass transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
4.1.3 Membrane operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
4.1.4 Membrane shapes and ow geometries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

4.1.5 Membrane performance and governing equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

4.1.6 Membrane separation processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
4.1.7 Pore size and selectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
4.1.8 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
4.1.9 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
4.1.10 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
4.2 Electrodialysis reversal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.2.1 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.2.2 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.2.3 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.3 Reverse osmosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.3.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
4.3.2 Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
4.3.3 Fresh water applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
4.3.4 Landll leachate purication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
4.3.5 Desalination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
4.3.6 Disadvantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
4.3.7 New developments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
4.3.8 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
4.3.9 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
4.3.10 Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
4.4 Nanoltration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
4.4.1 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
4.4.2 Range of applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
4.4.3 Advantages and disadvantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
4.4.4 Design and operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
4.4.5 Characterisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
4.4.6 Typical gures for industrial applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
4.4.7 Post treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
4.4.8 New Developments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
4.4.9 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
4.4.10 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
4.4.11 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
4.5 Membrane distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
4.5.1 Principle of membrane distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
4.5.2 Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
4.5.3 Solar-powered membrane distillation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
4.5.4 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
4.5.5 Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
4.6 Forward osmosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
4.6.1 Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

4.6.2 Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
4.6.3 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
4.6.4 Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

5 Solar desalination 93
5.1 Solar desalination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
5.1.1 Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
5.1.2 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
5.1.3 Types of solar desalination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
5.1.4 Multi-stage ash distillation (MSF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
5.1.5 Problems with thermal systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
5.1.6 Solutions for thermal systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
5.1.7 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
5.1.8 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
5.1.9 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
5.2 Solar humidication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
5.2.1 Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
5.2.2 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
5.2.3 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97

6 Other methods 98
6.1 Geothermal desalination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
6.1.1 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
6.1.2 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
6.1.3 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
6.2 Multiple-eect humidication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
6.2.1 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
6.3 Methane clathrate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
6.3.1 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
6.3.2 Structure and composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
6.3.3 Natural deposits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
6.3.4 Hydrates in natural gas processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
6.3.5 Methane clathrates and climate change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
6.3.6 Natural gas hydrates versus liquied natural gas in transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
6.3.7 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
6.3.8 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
6.3.9 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
6.3.10 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
6.4 Reclaimed water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
6.4.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
6.4.2 Types and applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
6.4.3 Benets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

6.4.4 Design considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

6.4.5 Health aspects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
6.4.6 Environmental aspects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.4.7 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.4.8 Guidelines and regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
6.4.9 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
6.4.10 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
6.4.11 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
6.5 Seawater greenhouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
6.5.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
6.5.2 Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
6.5.3 Applicability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
6.5.4 Sundrop Farms, Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
6.5.5 Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
6.5.6 See also . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
6.5.7 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
6.5.8 External links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

7 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses 128

7.1 Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
7.2 Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
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Chapter 1


1.1 Desalination

This article is about removing salt from water. For soil desalination, see Soil salinity control.

Desalination is a process that extracts minerals from saline water. More generally, desalination refers to the removal
of salts and minerals from a target substance,[1] as in soil desalination, which is an issue for agriculture.[2]
Saltwater is desalinated to produce water suitable for human consumption or irrigation. One by-product of desalina-
tion is salt. Desalination is used on many seagoing ships and submarines. Most of the modern interest in desalination
is focused on cost-eective provision of fresh water for human use. Along with recycled wastewater, it is one of the
few rainfall-independent water sources.[3]
Due to its energy consumption, desalinating sea water is generally more costly than fresh water from rivers or
groundwater, water recycling and water conservation. However, these alternatives are not always available and deple-
tion of reserves is a critical problem worldwide. Currently, approximately 1% of the worlds population is dependent
on desalinated water to meet daily needs, but the UN expects that 14% of the worlds population will encounter water
scarcity by 2025.[4]
Desalination is particularly relevant in dry countries such as Australia, which traditionally have relied on collecting
rainfall behind dams for water.
According to the International Desalination Association, in June 2015, 18,426 desalination plants operated worldwide,
producing 86.8 million cubic meters per day, providing water for 300 million people.[5] This number increased from
78.4 million cubic meters in 2013,[4] a 10.71% increase in 2 years. The single largest desalination project is Ras
Al-Khair in Saudi Arabia, which produced 1,025,000 cubic meters per day in 2014,[4] although this plant is expected
to be surpassed by a plant in California.[6] Kuwait produces a higher proportion of its water than any other country,
totaling 100% of its water use.[7]

1.1.1 Methods

There are several methods. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

Vacuum Distillation

The traditional process used in these operations is vacuum distillationessentially boiling it to leave impurities be-
hind. In desalination, atmospheric pressure is reduced, thus lowering the required temperature needed. Liquids boil
when the vapor pressure equals the ambient pressure and vapor pressure increases with temperature. Thus, because
of the reduced temperature, low-temperature waste heat from electrical power generation or industrial processes
can be employed.





Schematic of a multistage ash desalinator

A steam in
B seawater in
C potable water out
D waste out
E steam out
F heat exchange
G condensation collection
H brine heater

Plan of a typical reverse osmosis desalination plant

Multi-Stage Flash Distillation

Water is evaporated and separated from sea water through multi-stage ash distillation, which is a series of ash
evaporations.[8] Each subsequent ash process utilizes energy released from the condensation of the water vapor from
the previous step.[8]

Reverse osmosis desalination plant in Barcelona, Spain

Multiple Eect Distillation

Multiple eect distillation (MED) works through a series of steps called eects.[8] Incoming water is sprayed onto
vertically or, more commonly, horizontally[8][9] oriented pipes which are then heated to generate steam. The steam
is then used to heat the next batch of incoming sea water.[8] To increase eciency, the steam used to heat the sea
water can be taken from nearby power plants.[8] Although this method is the most thermodynamically ecient, a few
limitations exist such as a max temperature and max number of eects.[9]

Vapor Compression Distillation

Vapor compression distillation involves using either a mechanical compressor or a jet stream to compress the vapor
present above the liquid. The compressed vapor is then used to provide the heat needed for the evaporation of the
rest of the sea water.[8] Since this system only requires power, it is more ecient if kept at a small scale.[8]

Reverse Osmosis

The principal competing process uses membranes to desalt saline water, principally applying reverse osmosis (RO).[10]
The RO membrane processes use semipermeable membranes and applied pressure (on the membrane feed side) to
preferentially induce water permeation through the membrane while rejecting salts. Reverse osmosis plant mem-
brane systems typically use less energy than thermal desalination processes. Desalination processes are driven by
either thermal (e.g., distillation) or electrical (e.g., RO) as the primary energy types. Energy cost in desalination pro-
cesses varies considerably depending on water salinity, plant size and process type. At present the cost of seawater
desalination, for example, is higher than traditional water sources, but it is expected that costs will continue to de-
crease with technology improvements that include, but are not limited to, reduction in plants footprint, improvements
to plant operation and optimization, more eective feed pretreatment, and lower cost energy sources.[11]


Freezing involves partially freezing the seawater and removing the ice to then clean and melt back down into now
clean water.[8] In the freezing process, water is separated from the salt in order for the water to crystallize properly.[8]

Solar Evaporation

Solar evaporation mimics the natural water cycle, in which the sun heats the sea water enough for evaporation to
occur.[8] After evaporation, the water vapor is condensed onto a cool surface.[8]

Electrodialysis/Electrodialysis Reversal

Electrodialysis utilizes electric potential to move the salts through a membrane.[12]

1.1.2 Considerations and criticism

Energy consumption

Energy consumption of seawater desalination has reached as low as 3 kWh/m3 ,[13] including pre-ltering and ancil-
laries, similar to the energy consumption of other fresh water supplies transported over large distances,[14] but much
higher than local fresh water supplies that use 0.2 kWh/m3 or less.[15]
A minimum energy consumption for seawater desalination of around 1 kWh/m3 has been determined,[16][17] exclud-
ing preltering and intake/outfall pumping. Under 2 kWh/m3[18] has been achieved with reverse osmosis membrane
technology, leaving limited scope for further energy reductions.
Supplying all US domestic water by desalination would increase domestic energy consumption by around 10%, about
the amount of energy used by domestic refrigerators.[19] Domestic consumption is a relatively small fraction of the
total water usage.[20]
Note: Electrical equivalent refers to the amount of electrical energy that could be generated using a given quantity of
thermal energy and appropriate turbine generator. These calculations do not include the energy required to construct
or refurbish items consumed in the process.


Cogeneration is generating excess heat and electricity generation from a single process. Cogeneration can provide
usable heat for desalination in an integrated, or dual-purpose, facility where a power plant provides the energy for

desalination. Alternatively, the facilitys energy production may be dedicated to the production of potable water (a
stand-alone facility), or excess energy may be produced and incorporated into the energy grid. Cogeneration takes
various forms, and theoretically any form of energy production could be used. However, the majority of current
and planned cogeneration desalination plants use either fossil fuels or nuclear power as their source of energy. Most
plants are located in the Middle East or North Africa, which use their petroleum resources to oset limited water
resources. The advantage of dual-purpose facilities is they can be more ecient in energy consumption, thus making
desalination more viable.[22][23]

The Shevchenko BN350, a nuclear-heated desalination unit

The current trend in dual-purpose facilities is hybrid congurations, in which the permeate from reverse osmosis de-
salination is mixed with distillate from thermal desalination. Basically, two or more desalination processes are com-
bined along with power production. Such facilities have been implemented in Saudi Arabia at Jeddah and Yanbu.[24]
A typical Supercarrier in the US military uses nuclear power to desalinate 400,000 US gallons (1,500,000 l; 330,000
imp gal) of water per day.[25]


Costs of desalinating sea water (infrastructure, energy, and maintenance) are generally higher than fresh water from
rivers or groundwater, water recycling, and water conservation, but alternatives are not always available. Desalination
costs in 2013 ranged from US$0.45 to $1.00/cubic metre ($US2 to 4/kgal). (1 cubic meter is about 264 gallons.)
More than half of the cost comes directly from energy cost, and since energy prices are very volatile, actual costs can
vary substantially.[26]
The cost of untreated fresh water in the developing world can reach US$5/cubic metre.[27]
Factors that determine the costs for desalination include capacity and type of facility, location, feed water, labor,
energy, nancing and concentrate disposal. Desalination stills control pressure, temperature and brine concentrations
to optimize eciency. Nuclear-powered desalination might be economical on a large scale.[28][29]
While noting costs are falling, and generally positive about the technology for auent areas in proximity to oceans,
a 2004 study argued, Desalinated water may be a solution for some water-stress regions, but not for places that are
poor, deep in the interior of a continent, or at high elevation. Unfortunately, that includes some of the places with

biggest water problems., and, Indeed, one needs to lift the water by 2,000 m (6,600 ft), or transport it over more
than 1,600 km (990 mi) to get transport costs equal to the desalination costs. Thus, it may be more economical to
transport fresh water from somewhere else than to desalinate it. In places far from the sea, like New Delhi, or in
high places, like Mexico City, transport costs could match desalination costs. Desalinated water is also expensive in
places that are both somewhat far from the sea and somewhat high, such as Riyadh and Harare. By contrast in other
locations transport costs are much less, such as Beijing, Bangkok, Zaragoza, Phoenix, and, of course, coastal cities
like Tripoli.[30] After desalination at Jubail, Saudi Arabia, water is pumped 200 mi (320 km) inland to Riyadh.[31]
For coastal cities, desalination is increasingly viewed as a competitive choice.
In 2014, the Israeli facilities of Hadera, Palmahim, Ashkelon, and Sorek were desalinizing water for less than US$0.40
per cubic meter.[32] As of 2006, Singapore was desalinating water for US$0.49 per cubic meter.[33] The city of
Perth began operating a reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant in 2006.[34] A desalination plant now operates in
Sydney,[35] and the Wonthaggi desalination plant was under construction in Wonthaggi, Victoria.
The Perth desalination plant is powered partially by renewable energy from the Emu Downs Wind Farm.[36][37] A
wind farm at Bungendore in New South Wales was purpose-built to generate enough renewable energy to oset the
Sydney plants energy use,[38] mitigating concerns about harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
In December 2007, the South Australian government announced it would build a seawater desalination plant for the
city of Adelaide, Australia, located at Port Stanvac. The desalination plant was to be funded by raising water rates to
achieve full cost recovery.[39][40]
A January 17, 2008, article in the Wall Street Journal stated, In November, Connecticut-based Poseidon Resources
Corp. won a key regulatory approval to build the $300 million water-desalination plant in Carlsbad, north of San
Diego. The facility would produce 50,000,000 US gallons (190,000,000 l; 42,000,000 imp gal) of drinking water
per day, enough to supply about 100,000 homes.[41] As of June 2012, the cost for the desalinated water had risen to
$2,329 per acre-foot.[42] Each $1,000 per acre-foot works out to $3.06 for 1,000 gallons, or $.81 per cubic meter.[43]
Poseidon Resources made an unsuccessful attempt to construct a desalination plant in Tampa Bay, FL, in 2001. The
board of directors of Tampa Bay Water was forced to buy the plant from Poseidon in 2001 to prevent a third failure
of the project. Tampa Bay Water faced ve years of engineering problems and operation at 20% capacity to protect
marine life. The facility reached capacity only in 2007.[44]
In 2008, a Energy Recovery Inc. was desalinating water for $0.46 per cubic meter.[45]


Factors that determine the costs for desalination include capacity and type of facility, location, feed water, labor,
energy, nancing and concentrate disposal.

Intake In the United States, cooling water intake structures are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA). These structures can have the same impacts to the environment as desalination facility intakes. According
to EPA, water intake structures cause adverse environmental impact by sucking sh and shellsh or their eggs into
an industrial system. There, the organisms may be killed or injured by heat, physical stress, or chemicals. Larger
organisms may be killed or injured when they become trapped against screens at the front of an intake structure.[46]
Alternative intake types that mitigate these impacts include beach wells, but they require more energy and higher
The Kwinana Desalination Plant opened in Perth in 2007. Water there and at Queenslands Gold Coast Desalination
Plant and Sydneys Kurnell Desalination Plant is withdrawn at 0.1 m/s (0.33 ft/s), which is slow enough to let sh
escape. The plant provides nearly 140,000 m3 (4,900,000 cu ft) of clean water per day.[36]

Outow Desalination processes produce large quantities of brine, possibly at above ambient temperature, and con-
tain residues of pretreatment and cleaning chemicals, their reaction byproducts and heavy metals due to corrosion.[48]
Chemical pretreatment and cleaning are a necessity in most desalination plants, which typically includes prevention
of biofouling, scaling, foaming and corrosion in thermal plants, and of biofouling, suspended solids and scale deposits
in membrane plants.[49]
To limit the environmental impact of returning the brine to the ocean, it can be diluted with another stream of
water entering the ocean, such as the outfall of a wastewater treatment or power plant. With medium to large power
plant and desalination plants, the power plants cooling water ow is likely to be several times larger than that of the

desalination plant, reducing the salinity of the combination. Another method to dilute the brine is to mix it via a
diuser in a mixing zone. For example, once a pipeline containing the brine reaches the sea oor, it can split into
many branches, each releasing brine gradually through small holes along its length. Mixing can be combined with
power plant or wastewater plant dilution.
Brine is denser than seawater and therefore sinks to the ocean bottom and can damage the ecosystem. Careful
reintroduction can minimize this problem. Typical ocean conditions allow for rapid dilution, thereby minimizing

Alternatives without pollution Some methods of desalination, particularly in combination with evaporation ponds,
solar stills, and condensation trap (solar desalination), do not discharge brine. They do not use chemicals or burn fossil
fuels. They do not work with membranes or other critical parts, such as components that include heavy metals, thus
do not produce toxic waste (and high maintenance).
A new approach that works like a solar still, but on the scale of industrial evaporation ponds is the integrated biotectural
system.[50] It can be considered full desalination because it converts the entire amount of saltwater intake into
distilled water. One of the advantages of this system is the feasibility for inland operation. Standard advantages also
include no air pollution and no temperature increase of endangered natural water bodies from power plant cooling-
water discharge. Another important advantage is the production of sea salt for industrial and other uses. As of 2015,
50% of the worlds sea salt production relies on fossil energy sources.[51]

Alternatives to desalination Increased water conservation and eciency remain the most cost-eective approaches
in areas with a large potential to improve the eciency of water use practices.[52] Wastewater reclamation provides
multiple benets over desalination.[53] Urban runo and storm water capture also provide benets in treating, restoring
and recharging groundwater.[54]
A proposed alternative to desalination in the American Southwest is the commercial importation of bulk water from
water-rich areas either by oil tankers converted to water carriers, or pipelines. The idea is politically unpopular in
Canada, where governments imposed trade barriers to bulk water exports as a result of a North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) claim.[55]

Public health concerns Desalination removes iodine from water and could increase the risk of iodine deciency
disorders. Israeli researchers claimed a possible link between seawater desalination and iodine deciency,[56] nding
decits among euthyroid adults exposed to iodine-poor water[57] concurrently with an increasing proportion of their
areas drinking water from seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO).[58] They later found probable iodine deciency disor-
ders in a population reliant on desalinated seawater.[59] A possible link of heavy desalinated water use and national
iodine deciency was suggested by Israeli researchers.[60] They found a high burden of iodine deciency in the gen-
eral population of Israel: 62% of school-age children and 85% of pregnant women fall below the WHOs adequacy
range.[61] They also pointed out the national reliance on iodine-depleted desalinated water, the absence of a universal
salt iodization program and reports of increased use of thyroid medication in Israel as a possible reasons that the
populations iodine intake low. In the year that the survey was conducted, the amount of water produced from the
desalination plants constitutes about 50% of the quantity of fresh water supplied for all needs and about 80% of the
water supplied for domestic and industrial needs in Israel.[62]

Other Issues

Due to the nature of the process, there is a need to place the plants on approximately 25 acres of land on or near
the shoreline.[63] In the case a plant is built inland, pipes have to be laid into the ground to allow for easy intake and
outtake.[63] However, once the pipes are laid into the ground, they have a possibility of leaking into and contaminating
nearby aquifers.[63] Aside from environmental risks, the noise generated by certain types of desalination plants can
be loud.[63]

1.1.3 Experimental techniques

Other desalination techniques include:


Waste heat

Diesel generators commonly provide electricity in remote areas. About 40%50% of the energy output is low-grade
heat that leaves the engine via the exhaust. Connecting a membrane distillation system to the diesel engine exhaust
repurposes this low-grade heat for desalination. The system actively cools the diesel generator, improving its eciency
and increasing its electricity output. This results in an energy-neutral desalination solution. An example plant was
commissioned by Dutch company Aquaver in March 2014 for Gulhi, Maldives.[64][65]

Low-temperature thermal

Originally stemming from ocean thermal energy conversion research, low-temperature thermal desalination (LTTD)
takes advantage of water boiling at low pressure, even at ambient temperature. The system uses pumps to create
a low-pressure, low-temperature environment in which water boils at a temperature gradient of 810 C (4650
F) between two volumes of water. Cool ocean water is supplied from depths of up to 600 m (2,000 ft). This
water is pumped through coils to condense the water vapor. The resulting condensate is puried water. LTTD may
take advantage of the temperature gradient available at power plants, where large quantities of warm wastewater are
discharged from the plant, reducing the energy input needed to create a temperature gradient.[66]
Experiments were conducted in the US and Japan to test the approach. In Japan, a spray-ash evaporation system
was tested by Saga University.[67] In Hawaii, the National Energy Laboratory tested an open-cycle OTEC plant with
fresh water and power production using a temperature dierence of 20 C between surface water and water at a depth
of around 500 m (1,600 ft). LTTD was studied by Indias National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) in 2004.
Their rst LTTD plant opened in 2005 at Kavaratti in the Lakshadweep islands. The plants capacity is 100,000 L
(22,000 imp gal; 26,000 US gal)/day, at a capital cost of INR 50 million (922,000). The plant uses deep water
at a temperature of 10 to 12 C (50 to 54 F).[68] In 2007, NIOT opened an experimental, oating LTTD plant o
the coast of Chennai, with a capacity of 1,000,000 L (220,000 imp gal; 260,000 US gal)/day. A smaller plant was
established in 2009 at the North Chennai Thermal Power Station to prove the LTTD application where power plant
cooling water is available.[66][69][70]

Thermoionic process

In October 2009, Saltworks Technologies announced a process that uses solar or other thermal heat to drive an ionic
current that removes all sodium and chlorine ions from the water using ion-exchange membranes.[71]

Evaporation and condensation for crops

The Seawater greenhouse uses natural evaporation and condensation processes inside a greenhouse powered by solar
energy to grow crops in arid coastal land.

Other approaches

Adsorption-based desalination (AD) relies on the moisture absorption properties of certain materials such as Silica

Forward osmosis One process was commercialized by Modern Water PLC using forward osmosis, with a number
of plants reported to be in operation.[73][74][75]

Small-scale solar The United States, France and the United Arab Emirates are working to develop practical solar
desalination.[76] AquaDanias WaterStillar has been installed at Dahab, Egypt, and in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. In
this approach, a solar thermal collector measuring two square metres can distill from 40 to 60 litres per day from
any local water source ve times more than conventional stills. It eliminates the need for plastic PET bottles
or energy-consuming water transport.[77] In Central California, a startup company WaterFX is developing a solar-
powered method of desalination that can enable the use of local water, including runo water that can be treated
and used again. Salty groundwater in the region would be treated to become freshwater, and in areas near the ocean,
seawater could be treated.[78]

Passarell The Passarell process uses reduced atmospheric pressure rather than heat to drive evaporative desalina-
tion. The pure water vapor generated by distillation is then compressed and condensed using an advanced compressor.
The compression process improves distillation eciency by creating the reduced pressure in the evaporation chamber.
The compressor centrifuges the pure water vapor after it is drawn through a demister (removing residual impurities)
causing it to compress against tubes in the collection chamber. The compression of the vapor increases its temper-
ature. The heat is transferred to the input water falling in the tubes, vaporizing the water in the tubes. Water vapor
condenses on the outside of the tubes as product water. By combining several physical processes, Passarell enables
most of the systems energy to be recycled through its evaporation, demisting, vapor compression, condensation, and
water movement processes.[79]

Geothermal Geothermal energy can drive desalination. In most locations, geothermal desalination beats using
scarce groundwater or surface water, environmentally and economically.

Nanotechnology Nanotube membranes of higher permeability than current generation of membranes may lead
to eventual reduction in the footprint of RO desalination plants. It has also been suggested that the use of such
membranes will lead to reduction in the energy needed for desalination.[80]
Hermetic, sulphonated nano-composite membranes have shown to be capable of removing a various contaminants to
the parts per billion level. s, have little or no susceptibility to high salt concentration levels.[81][82][83]

Biomimesis Biomimetic membranes are another approach.[84]

Electrochemical In 2008, Siemens Water Technologies announced technology that applied electric elds to de-
salinate one cubic meter of water while using only a purported 1.5 kWh of energy. If accurate, this process would
consume one-half the energy of other processes.[85] As of 2012 a demonstration plant was operating in Singapore.[86]
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Marburg are developing more ecient methods
of electrochemically mediated seawater desalination.[87]

Freeze-thaw Freeze-thaw desalination uses freezing to remove fresh water from frozen seawater.[88]

Electrokinetic shocks A process employing electrokinetic shocks waves can be used to accomplish membraneless
desalination at ambient temperature and pressure.[89] In this process, anions and cations in salt water are exchanged
for carbonate anions and calcium cations, respectively using electrokinetic shockwaves. Calcium and carbonate ions
react to form calcium carbonate, which precipitates, leaving fresh water. The theoretical energy eciency of this
method is on par with electrodialysis and reverse osmosis.

1.1.4 Facilities

Main article: Desalination facilities

Estimates vary widely between 15,00020,000 desalination plants producing more than 20,000 m3 /day. Micro de-
salination plants operate near almost every natural gas or fracking facility found in the United States.

1.1.5 In nature

Evaporation of water over the oceans in the water cycle is a natural desalination process.
The formation of sea ice produces ice with little salt, much lower than in seawater.
Seabirds distill seawater using countercurrent exchange in a gland with a rete mirabile. The gland secretes highly
concentrated brine stored near the nostrils above the beak. The bird then sneezes the brine out. As freshwater is not
usually available in their environments, some seabirds, such as pelicans, petrels, albatrosses, gulls and terns, possess
this gland, which allows them to drink the salty water from their environments while they are far from land.[90][91]

Mangrove trees grow in seawater; they secrete salt by trapping it in parts of the root, which are then eaten by animals
(usually crabs). Additional salt is removed by storing it in leaves that fall o. Some types of mangroves have glands
on their leaves, which work in a similar way to the seabird desalination gland. Salt is extracted to the leaf exterior as
small crystals, which then fall o the leaf.
Willow trees and reeds absorb salt and other contaminants, eectively desalinating the water. This is used in articial
constructed wetlands, for treating sewage.

1.1.6 History

Desalination has been known to history for millennia as both a concept, and later practice, though in a limited form.
The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle observed in his work Meteorology that salt water, when it turns into vapour,
becomes sweet and the vapour does not form salt water again when it condenses, and also noticed that a ne wax
vessel would hold potable water after being submerged long enough in seawater, having acted as a membrane to
lter the salt.[92] There are numerous other examples of experimentation in desalination throughout Antiquity and the
Middle Ages,[93] but desalination was never feasible on a large scale until the modern era.[94]
Before the Industrial Revolution, desalination was primarily of concern to oceangoing ships, which otherwise needed
to keep on board supplies of fresh water. When Protector (1779 frigate) was sold to Denmark in the 1780s (as the
ship Hussaren) the desalination plant was studied and recorded in great detail.[95]
In the newly formed United States, Thomas Jeerson catalogued heat-based methods going back to the 1500s, and
formulated practical advice that was publicized to all U.S. ships on the backs of sailing clearance permits.[96][97]
Signicant research into improved desalination methods occurred in the United States after World War II. The Oce
of Saline Water was created in the United States Department of the Interior by the Saline Water Conversion Act of
1952. It was merged into the Oce of Water Resources Research in 1974.[98]
Research also took place at state universities in California, followed by development at the Dow Chemical Company
and DuPont.[99] Many studies focus on ways to optimize desalination systems.[100][101]

1.1.7 See also

Adelaide Desalination Plant

Atmospheric water generator




Peak water

Salinity control

Soil desalination model


Soil salinity

Soil salinity and groundwater model

Spragg Bags

Pumpable ice technology

Water supply

1.1.8 References
[1] Desalination (denition), The American Heritage Science Dictionary, Houghton Miin Company, via dictionary.com.
Retrieved August 19, 2007.

[2] Australia Aids China In Water Management Project. Peoples Daily Online, 2001-08-03, via english.people.com.cn. Re-
trieved August 19, 2007.

[3] Fischetti, Mark (September 2007). Fresh from the Sea. Scientic American. 297 (3): 118119. doi:10.1038/scienticamerican0907-
118. PMID 17784633.

[4] Desalination industry enjoys growth spurt as scarcity starts to bite globalwaterintel.com.

[5] Henthorne, Lisa (June 2012). The Current State of Desalination. International Desalination Association. Retrieved
September 5, 2016.

[6] Biggest ocean desalination plant in California nears completion. The Economic Times.

[7] Laurene Veale (August 19, 2015) . MIT TECHNOLOGY NEWS

[8] Khawaji, Akili D.; Kutubkhanah, Ibrahim K.; Wie, Jong-Mihn (March 2008). Advances in seawater desalination tech-
nologies. Desalination. pp. 4769. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2007.01.067.

[9] Al-Shammiri, M.; Safar, M. (November 1999). Multi-eect distillation plants: state of the art. Desalination. pp. 4559.

[10] Fritzmann, C; Lowenberg, J; Wintgens, T; Melin, T (2007). State-of-the-art of reverse osmosis desalination. Desalina-
tion. 216: 176. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2006.12.009.

[11] Thiel, Gregory P. (2015-06-01). Salty solutions. Physics Today. 68 (6): 6667. Bibcode:2015PhT....68f..66T. doi:10.1063/PT.3.2828.
ISSN 0031-9228.

[12] Van der Bruggen, Bart; Vandecasteele, Carlo (June 2002). Distillation vs. membrane ltration: overview of process
evolutions in seawater desalination. Desalination. pp. 207218. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(02)00259-X.

[13] Energy Ecient Reverse Osmosis Desalination Process, p. 343 Table 1, International Journal of Environmental Science
and Development, Vol. 3, No. 4, August 2012

[14] Wilkinson, Robert C. (March 2007) Analysis of the Energy Intensity of Water Supplies for West Basin Municipal Water
District, Table on p. 4

[15] U.S. Electricity Consumption for Water Supply & Treatment, pp. 14 Table 1-1, Electric Power Research Institute
(EPRI) Water & Sustainability (Volume 4), 2000

[16] Elimelech, Menachem (2012) Seawater Desalination, p. 12

[17] Semiat, R. (2008). Energy Issues in Desalination Processes. Environmental Science & Technology. 42 (22): 8193.
Bibcode:2008EnST...42.8193S. doi:10.1021/es801330u.

[18] Optimizing Lower Energy Seawater Desalination, p6 gure 1.2, Stephen Dundorf at the IDA World Congress November

[19] Membrane Desalination Power Usage Put In Perspective , American Membrane Technology Association(AMTA) April

[20] Total Water Use in the United States

[21] ENERGY REQUIREMENTS OF DESALINATION PROCESSES, Encyclopedia of Desalination and Water Resources
(DESWARE). Retrieved June 24, 2013

[22] Hamed, O. A. (2005). Overview of hybrid desalination systems current status and future prospects. Desalination.
186: 207. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2005.03.095.

[23] Misra, B. M.; Kupitz, J. (2004). The role of nuclear desalination in meeting the potable water needs in water scarce areas
in the next decades. Desalination. 166: 1. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2004.06.053.

[24] Ludwig, H. (2004). Hybrid systems in seawater desalinationpractical design aspects, present status and development
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[25] Tom Harris (August 29, 2002) How Aircraft Carriers Work. Howstuworks.com. Retrieved May 29, 2011.

[26] Zhang, S.X.; V. Babovic (2012). A real options approach to the design and architecture of water supply systems using
innovative water technologies under uncertainty (PDF). Journal of Hydroinformatics.

[27] Finding Water in MogadishuIPS news item 2008

[28] Nuclear Desalination. World Nuclear Association. January 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2010.

[29] Barlow, Maude, and Tony Clarke, Who Owns Water?" The Nation, 2002-09-02, via thenation.com. Retrieved August 20,

[30] Yuan Zhou and Richard S.J. Tol. Evaluating the costs of desalination and water transport. at the Wayback Machine
(archived March 25, 2009) (Working paper). Hamburg University. December 9, 2004. Retrieved August 20, 2007.

[31] Desalination is the Solution to Water Shortages, redOrbit, May 2, 2008

[32] Over and drought: Why the end of Israels water shortage is a secret, Haaretz, January 24, 2014

[33] Black & Veatch-Designed Desalination Plant Wins Global Water Distinction, (Press release). Black & Veatch Ltd., via
edie.net, May 4, 2006. Retrieved August 20, 2007.

[34] Perth Seawater Desalination Plant, Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO), Kwinana. Water Technology. Retrieved March
20, 2011.

[35] Sydney desalination plant to double in size, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, June 25, 2007. Retrieved August 20,

[36] Sullivan, Michael (June 18, 2007) Australia Turns to Desalination Amid Water Shortage. NPR.

[37] PX Pressure Exchanger energy recovery devices from Energy Recovery Inc. An Environmentally Green Plant Design.
Morning Edition, NPR, June 18, 2007

[38] Fact sheets, Sydney Water

[39] Water prices to rise and desalination plant set for Port Stanvac|Adelaide Now. News.com.au (December 4, 2007). Retrieved
March 20, 2011.

[40] Desalination plant for Adelaide. ministers.sa.gov.au. December 5, 2007

[41] Kranhold, Kathryn. (January 17, 2008) Water, Water, Everywhere... The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 20, 2011.

[42] Mike Lee. Carlsbad desal plant, pipe costs near $1 billion. U-T San Diego.

[43] Sweet, Phoebe (March 21, 2008) Desalination gets a serious look. Las Vegas Sun.

[44] Desalination: A Component of the Master Water Plan . tampabaywater.org

[45] Hydro-Alchemy, Forbes, May 9, 2008

[46] Water: Cooling Water Intakes (316b). water.epa.gov.

[47] Cooley, Heather; Gleick, Peter H. and Wol, Gary (June 2006) DESALINATION, WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. A Cali-
fornia Perspective, Pacic Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security. ISBN 1-893790-13-4

[48] Greenberg, Joel (March 20, 2014) Israel no longer worried about its water supply, thanks to desalination plants, McClatchy

[49] Lattemann, Sabine; Hpner, Thomas (2008). Environmental impact and impact assessment of seawater desalination
(PDF). Desalination. 220: 1. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2007.03.009.

[50] Desalination without brine discharge Integrated Biotectural System, by Nicol-Andr Berdell, February 20, 2011

[51] Jollibee, Merci. Best Reverse Osmosis System. Reviews 2015 Ultimate Guide.

[52] Gleick, Peter H., Dana Haasz, Christine Henges-Jeck, Veena Srinivasan, Gary Wol, Katherine Kao Cushing, and Amardip
Mann. (November 2003.) Waste not, want not: The potential for urban water conservation in California. (Website).
Pacic Institute. Retrieved September 20, 2007.

[53] Cooley, Heather, Peter H. Gleick, and Gary Wol. (June 2006.) Pacic Institute. Retrieved September 20, 2007.

[54] Gleick, Peter H., Heather Cooley, David Groves. (September 2005.) California water 2030: An ecient future.. Pacic
Institute. Retrieved September 20, 2007.

[55] Sun Belt Inc. Legal Documents. Sunbeltwater.com. Retrieved May 29, 2011.

[56] . ."" agri.huji.ac.il. July 2014

[57] Yaniv Ovadia. Estimated iodine intake and status in euthyroid adults exposed to iodine-poor water. ResearchGate.

[58] Ovadia YS, Troen AM, Gefel D (August 2013). Seawater desalination and iodine deciency: is there a link?" (PDF). IDD

[59] Ovadia, Yaniv S; Gefel, Dov; Aharoni, Dorit; Turkot, Svetlana; Fytlovich, Shlomo; Troen, Aron M (May 1, 2016). Can
desalinated seawater contribute to iodine-deciency disorders? An observation and hypothesis. Public Health Nutrition.
FirstView (15): 110. doi:10.1017/S1368980016000951 via Cambridge Journals Online.

[60] Jewish Telegraphic Agency

[61] The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

[62] Israeli Water Authority

[63] Einav, Rachel; Harussi, Kobi; Perry, Dan (February 2003). The footprint of the desalination processes on the environ-
ment. Desalination. pp. 141154. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(02)01057-3.

[64] Desalination plant powered by waste heat opens in Maldives European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) news. Retrieved
March 18, 2014

[65] Island nally gets its own water supply, Global Water Intelligence, February 24, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2014

[66] Sistla, Phanikumar V.S.; et al. Low Temperature Thermal DesalinbationPLants (PDF). Proceedings of The Eighth (2009)
ISOPE Ocean Mining Symposium, Chennai, India, September 2024, 2009. International Society of Oshore and Polar
Engineers. Retrieved June 22, 2010.

[67] Haruo Uehara and Tsutomu Nakaoka Development and Prospective of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and Spray Flash
Evaporator Desalination. ioes.saga-u.ac.jp

[68] Desalination: India opens worlds rst low temperature thermal desalination plant IRC International Water and Sanitation
Centre. Irc.nl (May 31, 2005). Retrieved March 20, 2011.

[69] Floating plant, India. Headlinesindia.com (April 18, 2007). Retrieved May 29, 2011.

[70] Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Low temperature thermal desalination plants mooted. The Hindu (April 21, 2007). Retrieved
March 20, 2011.

[71] Current thinking, The Economist, October 29, 2009

[72] A Study of Silica Gel Adsorption Desalination System (PDF). Jun Wei WU. Retrieved November 3, 2016.

[73] FO plant completes 1-year of operation (PDF). Water Desalination Report: 23. November 15, 2010. Retrieved May
28, 2011.

[74] Modern Water taps demand in Middle East (PDF). The Independent. November 23, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2011.

[75] Thompson N.A.; Nicoll P.G. (September 2011). Forward Osmosis Desalination: A Commercial Reality. Proceedings
of the IDA World Congress (PDF). Perth, Western Australia: International Desalination Association.

[76] UAE & France Announce Partnership To Jointly Fund Renewable Energy Projects, Clean Technica, January 25, 2015

[77] Tapping the Market, CNBC European Business, October 1, 2008

[78] Peters, Adele. Can This Solar Desalination Startup Solve California Water Woes?". Fast Company. Retrieved February
24, 2015.

[79] The Passarell Process. Waterdesalination.com (November 16, 2004). Retrieved May 14, 2012.

[80] Nanotube membranes oer possibility of cheaper desalination (Press release). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Public Aairs. May 18, 2006. Retrieved September 7, 2007.

[81] Cao, Liwei. Patent US8222346 Block copolymers and method for making same. Retrieved July 9, 2013.

[82] Wnek, Gary. Patent US6383391 Water-and ion-conducting membranes and uses thereof. Retrieved July 9, 2013.

[83] Cao, Liwei (June 5, 2013). Dais Analytic Corporation Announces Product Sale to Asia, Functional Waste Water Treatment
Pilot, and Key Infrastructure Appointments. PR Newswire. Retrieved July 9, 2013.

[84] Sandia National Labs: Desalination and Water Purication: Research and Development. sandia.gov. 2007. Retrieved
July 9, 2013.

[85] Team wins $4m grant for breakthrough technology in seawater desalination, The Straits Times, June 23, 2008

[86] New desalination process uses 50% less energy | MINING.com. MINING.com. 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2016-06-11.

[87] Chemists Work to Desalinate the Ocean for Drinking Water, One Nanoliter at a Time. Science Daily. June 27, 2013.
Retrieved June 29, 2013.


[89] Shkolnikov, Viktor; Bahga, Supreet S.; Santiago, Juan G. (April 5, 2012). Desalination and hydrogen, chlorine, and
sodium hydroxide production via electrophoretic ion exchange and precipitation (PDF). Stanford Microuidics Laboratory.
14 (32): 11534. Bibcode:2012PCCP...1411534S. doi:10.1039/c2cp42121f. Retrieved July 9, 2013.

[90] Proctor, Noble S.; Lynch, Patrick J. (1993). Manual of Ornithology. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300076193.

[91] Ritchison, Gary. Avian osmoregulation. Retrieved April 16, 2011. including images of the gland and its function

[92] Aristotle with E.W. Webster, trans., Meteorologica, in: Ross, W. D., ed., The Works of Aristotle, vol. 3, (Oxford, England:
Clarendon Press, 1931), Book III, 358: 1618 and 359: 15.

[93] See:

Joseph Needham, Ho Ping-Yu, Lu Gwei-Djen, Nathan Sivin, Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry
and Chemical Technology (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1980), p. 60.
Alexander of Aphrodisias (. 200 A.D.) wrote, in his commentary on Aristotles Meteorology, that if a lid is placed
on a boiling pot of seawater, fresh water will condense on the lid.
In his Hexaemeron, Homily IV, 7, St. Basil of Caesarea (ca. 329379 A.D.) mentioned that sailors produced fresh
water via distillation. Saint Basil with Sister Agnes Clare Way, trans., Saint Basil Exegetic Homilies (Washington,
D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1963), p. 65. From p. 65: Moreover, it is possible to see the water
of the sea boiled by sailors, who, catching the vapors in sponges, relieve their thirst fairly well in times of need.

[94] http://www.desware.net/Sample-Chapters/D01/01-003.pdf

[95] Danish Naval Museum - records for Hussaren

[96] Thomas Jeerson (21 November 1791). Report on Desalination of Sea Water.

[97] Desalination of Sea Water - Thomas Jeersons Monticello.

[98] Records of the oce of Saline Water. August 15, 2016.

[99] David Talbot (23 November 2015). Bankrolling the 10 Breakthrough Technologies: Megascale Desalination.

[100] Singleton, M.; et., al. (2011). Optimization of ramied absorber networks doing desalination.. Phys.Rev.E. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.83.016308.

[101] Koutroulis, E.; et., al. (2010). Design optimization of desalination systems power-supplied by PV and W/G energy
sources. Desalination. 258. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2010.03.018.

Further reading

Committee on Advancing Desalination Technology, National Research Council. (2008). Desalination: A

National Perspective. National Academies Press.


Desalination: The next wave in global water consumption from TLVInsider

Elimelech, M.; Phillip, W. A. (2011). The Future of Seawater Desalination: Energy, Technology, and the En-
vironment (PDF). Science. 333 (6043): 712717. Bibcode:2011Sci...333..712E. doi:10.1126/science.1200488.
PMID 21817042. Signicant review article.

1.1.9 External links

International Desalination Association
Desalination timeline

Examples of sea water desalination plants by the WWWS AG

GeoNoria Solar Desalination Process

National Academies Press|Desalination: A National Perspective

World Wildlife Fund|Desalination: option or distraction?

European Desalination Society

IAEA Nuclear Desalination

DME German Desalination Society

Large scale desalination of sea water using solar energy

Desalination by humidication and dehumidication of air: state of the art

Zonnewater optimized solar thermal desalination (distillation)

SOLAR TOWER Project Clean Electricity Generation for Desalination.

Desalination bibliography Library of Congress


Cheap Drinking Water from the Ocean Carbon nanotube-based membranes will dramatically cut the cost of

Solar thermal-driven desalination plants based on membrane distillation

Encyclopedia of Water Sciences, Engineering and Technology Resources

wind-powered desalinization plant in Perth, Australia, is an example of how technology is insulating rich coun-
tries from impacts of climate change, while poor countries remain particularly vulnerable.

The Desal Response Group

Encyclopedia of Desalination and water and Water Resources

Desalination & Water Reuse Desalination news

Desalination: The Cyprus Experience

Desalination: The Jersey Water plant at La Rosire, Corbiere

Desalination and Membrane Technologies: Federal Research and Adoption Issues Congressional Research

Desalination Articles, Commentary and Archive - The New York Times Newspaper

Mangrove leaf with salt crystals


1.2 Saline water

For other uses, see Saline (disambiguation).
For saline solution in medicine and life science, see Saline (medicine).
Saline water (more commonly known as salt water) is water that contains a signicant concentration of dissolved
salts (mainly NaCl). The salt concentration is usually expressed in parts per thousand (permille, ) or parts per
million (ppm). The United States Geological Survey classies saline water in three salinity categories. Salt concen-
tration in slightly saline water is around 1,000 to 3,000 ppm (0.10.3%), in moderately saline water 3,000 to 10,000
ppm (0.31%) and in highly saline water 10,000 to 35,000 ppm (13.5%). Seawater has a salinity of roughly 35,000
ppm, equivalent to 35 grams of salt per one liter (or kilogram) of water. The saturation level is dependent on the
temperature of the water. At 20 C one milliliter of water can dissolve about 0.357 grams of salt; a concentration
of 26.3%. At boiling (100 C) the amount that can be dissolved in one milliliter of water increases to about 0.391
grams or 28.1% saline solution.[1]
Some industries make use of saline water, such as mining and thermo-electric power.

1.2.1 Use in the United States

In the United States, 14 percent of all water used in 2000 was saline.[2] Almost all saline withdrawals, over 92 percent,
were used by the thermo-electric power industry to cool electricity-generating equipment. About three percent of the
nations saline water was used for mining and other industrial purposes.[2]
Due to their proximity to the Atlantic and Pacic Oceans, states near the coast make the most use of saline water.
Almost 40% of all saline water use in 2000 occurred in California, Florida, and Maryland.[2]
The use of saline water, as with freshwater, has been trending downward since a peak in 1968. But, in the period
between 1950 and 1968, the use of saline water increased at a much higher rate than freshwater use.[2]

1.2.2 Properties
The thermal conductivity of seawater is 0.6 W/mK at 25 C and a salinity of 35 g/kg.. The thermal conductivity
decreases with increasing salinity and increases with increasing temperature; these graphs and online calculations plot
thermal conductivity for varying salinity and temperature: The salt content can be determined with a salinometer.

1.2.3 See also

Brackish water

1.2.4 References
[1] Solubility. Fundamentals of Chemistry. 2000. Retrieved 6 November 2014.

[2] Uses of saline water, USGS

1.2.5 External links

Media related to Saline water at Wikimedia Commons

Water salinity diagram

1.3 Fresh water

Freshwater redirects here. For other uses, see Freshwater (disambiguation).


Earth seen from Apollo 17the Antarctic ice sheet at the bottom of the photograph contains 61% of the fresh water, or 1.7% of the
total water, on Earth.

Fresh water is naturally occurring water on Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs, ponds,
lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is
generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and other total dissolved solids. The term
specically excludes seawater and brackish water although it does include mineral-rich waters such as chalybeate
springs. The term sweet water (from Spanish agua dulce) has been used to describe fresh water in contrast to
salt water. The term fresh water does not have the same meaning as potable water. Much of the surface fresh water
and ground water is unsuitable for drinking without some form of purication because of the presence of chemical
or biological contaminants.

1.3.1 Systems

lakes, and marshlands, such as (from top) South Americas Amazon River, Russias Lake Baikal, and the Everglades
in the United States, are types of freshwater systems.

Fresh water habitats are divided into lentic systems, which are the stillwaters including ponds, lakes, swamps and
mires; lotic, or running-water systems; and groundwater which ows in rocks and aquifers. There is, in addition, a
zone which bridges between groundwater and lotic systems, which is the hyporheic zone, which underlies many larger
rivers and can contain substantially more water than is seen in the open channel. It may also be in direct contact with
the underlying underground water. The majority of fresh water on Earth is in ice caps.

1.3.2 Sources

The source of almost all fresh water is precipitation from the atmosphere, in the form of mist, rain and snow. Fresh
water falling as mist, rain or snow contains materials dissolved from the atmosphere and material from the sea and land
over which the rain bearing clouds have traveled. In industrialized areas rain is typically acidic because of dissolved
oxides of sulfur and nitrogen formed from burning of fossil fuels in cars, factories, trains and aircraft and from the
atmospheric emissions of industry. In some cases this acid rain results in pollution of lakes and rivers.
In coastal areas fresh water may contain signicant concentrations of salts derived from the sea if windy conditions
have lifted drops of seawater into the rain-bearing clouds. This can give rise to elevated concentrations of sodium,
chloride, magnesium and sulfate as well as many other compounds in smaller concentrations.
In desert areas, or areas with impoverished or dusty soils, rain-bearing winds can pick up sand and dust and this
can be deposited elsewhere in precipitation and causing the freshwater ow to be measurably contaminated both by
insoluble solids but also by the soluble components of those soils. Signicant quantities of iron may be transported
in this way including the well-documented transfer of iron-rich rainfall falling in Brazil derived from sand-storms in
the Sahara in north Africa.

1.3.3 Water distribution

Main article: Water distribution on Earth

Water is a critical issue for the survival of all living organisms. Some can use salt water but many organisms including
the great majority of higher plants and most mammals must have access to fresh water to live. Some terrestrial mam-
mals, especially desert rodents appear to survive without drinking but they do generate water through the metabolism
of cereal seeds and they also have mechanisms to conserve water to the maximum degree.
Out of all the water on Earth, saline water in oceans, seas and saline groundwater make up about 97% of it. Only
2.52.75% is fresh water, including 1.752% frozen in glaciers, ice and snow, 0.50.75% as fresh groundwater and
soil moisture, and less than 0.01% of it as surface water in lakes, swamps and rivers.[2][3] Freshwater lakes contain
about 87% of this fresh surface water, including 29% in the African Great Lakes, 22% in Lake Baikal in Russia, 21%
in the North American Great Lakes, and 14% in other lakes. Swamps have most of the balance with only a small
amount in rivers, most notably the Amazon River. The atmosphere contains 0.04% water.[4] In areas with no fresh
water on the ground surface, fresh water derived from precipitation may, because of its lower density, overlie saline
ground water in lenses or layers. Most of the worlds fresh water is frozen in ice sheets. Many areas suer from lack
of distribution of fresh water, such as deserts.

Fresh groundwater
7 600 ppm (0.76%)
10 530 000 km

Saline groundwater Ice caps, glaciers

9 400 ppm (0.94%) & permanent snow
12 870 000 km 17 400 ppm (1.74%)
24 064 000 km
Biological water
1 ppm (0.0001%)
1 120 km

Atmosphere Ground ice

10 ppm (0.001%) & permafrost
12 900 km 220 ppm (0.022%)
Swamp water 300 000 km
8 ppm (0.0008%)
11 470 km Soil Moisture
10 ppm (0.001%)
Rivers 16 500 km
2 ppm (0.0002%)
2 120 km Fresh lakes
Saline lakes 70 ppm (0.007%)
60 ppm (0.006%) 91 000 km
85 400 km

Oceans, seas & bays

965 000 ppm (96.5%)
1 338 000 000 km

Visualisation of the distribution (by volume) of water on Earth. Each tiny cube (such as the one representing biological water)
corresponds to approximately 1000 cubic km of water, with a mass of approximately 1 trillion tonnes (200000 times that of the
Great Pyramid of Giza or 5 times that of Lake Kariba, arguably the heaviest man-made object). The entire block comprises 1 million
tiny cubes.[1]

1.3.4 Numerical denition

Fresh water can be dened as water with less than 500 parts per million (ppm) of dissolved salts.[5]
Other sources give higher upper salinity limits for fresh water, e.g. 1000 ppm[6] or 3000 ppm.[7]

1.3.5 Aquatic organisms

Fresh water creates a hypotonic environment for aquatic organisms. This is problematic for some organisms with
pervious skins or with gill membranes, whose cell membranes may burst if excess water is not excreted. Some protists
accomplish this using contractile vacuoles, while freshwater sh excrete excess water via the kidney.[8] Although most
aquatic organisms have a limited ability to regulate their osmotic balance and therefore can only live within a narrow
range of salinity, diadromous sh have the ability to migrate between fresh water and saline water bodies. During
these migrations they undergo changes to adapt to the surroundings of the changed salinities; these processes are
hormonally controlled. The eel (Anguilla anguilla) uses the hormone prolactin,[9] while in salmon (Salmo salar) the
hormone cortisol plays a key role during this process.[10]
Many sea birds have special glands at the base of the bill through which excess salt is excreted. Similarly the marine
iguanas on the Galpagos Islands excrete excess salt through a nasal gland and they sneeze out a very salty excretion.

1.3.6 Fresh water as a resource

An important concern for hydrological ecosystems is securing minimum streamow, especially preserving and restor-
ing instream water allocations.[11] Fresh water is an important natural resource necessary for the survival of all
ecosystems. The use of water by humans for activities such as irrigation and industrial applications can have adverse
impacts on down-stream ecosystems. Chemical contamination of fresh water can also seriously damage eco-systems.
Pollution from human activity, including oil spills and also presents a problem for freshwater resources. The largest
petroleum spill that has ever occurred in fresh water was caused by a Royal Dutch Shell tank ship in Magdalena,
Argentina, on 15 January 1999, polluting the environment, drinkable water, plants and animals.[12]
Fresh and unpolluted water accounts for 0.003% of total water available globally.[13]


Changing landscape for the use of agriculture has a great eect on the ow of fresh water. Changes in landscape by
the removal of trees and soils changes the ow of fresh water in the local environment and also aects the cycle of
fresh water. As a result, more fresh water is stored in the soil which benets agriculture. However, since agriculture
is the human activity that consumes the most fresh water,[14] this can put a severe strain on local freshwater resources
resulting in the destruction of local ecosystems. In Australia, over-abstraction of fresh water for intensive irrigation
activities has caused 33% of the land area to be at risk of salination.[14] With regards to agriculture, the World Bank
targets food production and water management as an increasingly global issue that will foster debate.[15]

Limited resource

Fresh water is a renewable and variable, but nite natural resource. Fresh water can only be replenished through the
process of the water cycle, in which water from seas, lakes, forests, land, rivers, and reservoirs evaporates, forms
clouds, and returns as precipitation. Locally however, if more fresh water is consumed through human activities than
is naturally restored, this may result in reduced fresh water availability from surface and underground sources and can
cause serious damage to surrounding and associated environments.

Fresh water withdrawal

Fresh water withdrawal is the quantity of water removed from available sources for use in any purpose, excluding
evaporation losses. Water drawn o is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for
further use downstream.

Causes of limited fresh water

The increase in the world population and the increase in per capita water use puts increasing strains on the nite
resources avialability of clean fresh water The World Bank adds that the response by freshwater ecosystems to a
changing climate can be described in terms of three interrelated components: water quality, water quantity or volume,

and water timing. A change in one often leads to shifts in the others as well.[16] Water pollution and subsequent
eutrophication also reduces the availability of fresh water.[17]

Fresh water in the future

Many areas of the world are already experiencing stress on water availability. Due to the accelerated pace of popula-
tion growth and an increase in the amount of water a single person uses, it is expected that this situation will continue
to get worse. A shortage of water in the future would be detrimental to the human population as it would aect
everything from sanitation, to overall health and the production of grain.[18]

Choices in the use of fresh water

With one in eight people in the world not having access to safe water[19] it is important to use this resource in a prudent
manner. Making the best use of water on a local basis probably provides the best solution. Local communities need
to plan their use of fresh water and should be made aware of how certain crops and animals use water.
As a guide the following tables provide some indicators.
Table 1 Recommended basic water requirements for human needs (per person) [20]
Table 2. Water Requirements of dierent classes of livestock [21]
Table 3 Approximate values of seasonal crop water needs [22]

1.3.7 Accessing fresh water


Canada has approximately 7% of the worlds renewable fresh water.[23] Canadians access their water from ground
water, lakes and streams; it is then cleaned and puried in water treatment plants.

United States

The United States uses much more water per capita than developing countries. For example, the average Americans
daily shower uses more water than a person in a developing country would use for an entire day.[24] Las Vegas, a city
that uses a large amount of water to support lush greenery and golf courses, as well as fountains and swimming pools,
gets 90% of its water from Lake Mead,[25] which in June 2016 reached its lowest elevation since April 1937.[26]

Developing countries

In developing countries, 780 million people lack access to clean water.[27] Half of the population of the developing
world suers from at least one disease caused by insucient water supply and sanitation.[28]

1.3.8 See also

African Great Lakes

Aral Sea


Drinking water


Freshwater ecology

Great Lakes

Lake Baikal
List of countries by freshwater withdrawal
List of countries by total renewable water resources
Properties of water
Water crisis
Water cycle
Water resources
Water well

1.3.9 References
[1] USGS Earths water distribution. Ga.water.usgs.gov (11 December 2012). Retrieved on 29 December 2012.

[2] Where is Earths water?, United States Geological Survey.

[3] Physicalgeography.net. Physicalgeography.net. Retrieved on 29 December 2012.

[4] Gleick, Peter; et al. (1996). Stephen H. Schneider, ed. Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather. Oxford University Press.

[5] Groundwater Glossary. 27 March 2006. Retrieved 14 May 2006.

[6] Freshwater. Glossary of Meteorology. American Meteorological Society. June 2000. Retrieved 27 November 2009.

[7] Freshwater. Fishkeeping glossary. Practical Fishkeeping. Archived from the original on 11 May 2006. Retrieved 27
November 2009.

[8] Vertebrate Kidneys. 3 November 2002. Retrieved 14 May 2006.

[9] Kalujnaia, S.; et. al. (2007). Salinity adaptation and gene proling analysis in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) using
microarray technology. Gen Comp Endocrinol. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 152 (2007): 27480.
PMID 17324422. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2006.12.025.

[10] Bisal, G.A.; Specker, J.L. (24 January 2006). Cortisol stimulates hypo-osmoregulatory ability in Atlantic salmon, Salmo
salar L. Journal of Fish biology. Wiley. 39 (3): 421432. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1991.tb04373.x.

[11] Peter Gleick; Heather Cooley; David Katz (2006). The worlds water, 20062007: the biennial report on freshwater
resources. Island Press. pp. 2931. ISBN 1-59726-106-8. Retrieved 12 September 2009.

[12] Petroleomagdalena.com. Petroleomagdalena.com (15 January 1999). Retrieved on 29 December 2012.

[13] Nitti, Gianfranco (May 2011). Water is not an innite resource and the world is thirsty. The Italian Insider. Rome. p. 8.

[14] Gordon L., D. M. (2003). Land cover change and water vapour ows: learning from Australia. Philosophical Transac-
tions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 358 (1440): 19731984. JSTOR 3558315. PMC 1693281 . PMID
14728792. doi:10.1098/rstb.2003.1381.

[15] Reengaging in Agricultural Water Management: Challenges and Options, The World Bank, pp. 45, retrieved 30 October

[16] The World Bank, 2009 Water and Climate Change: Understanding the Risks and Making Climate-Smart Investment
Decisions. pp. 1922. Retrieved 24 October 2011.

[17] Nutrients in fresh water

[18] Fresh Water in the Future. Un.org (17 December 2010). Retrieved on 29 December 2012.

[19] Water Aid. Water. Retrieved 17 March 2012.

[20] Gleick, Peter. Basic Water Requirements for Human Activities (PDF). Retrieved 17 March 2012.

[21] Filley, S. How much does a cow need ?" (PDF). Retrieved 17 March 2012.

[22] Natural Resource Management and Environmental Dept. Crops Need Water. Retrieved 17 March 2012.

[23] Canadas Fresh Water. Ec.gc.ca (16 February 2012). Retrieved on 29 December 2012.

[24] Water Facts. Water.org. Retrieved on 29 December 2012.

[25] The Drying of the West. Economist.com (27 January 2011). Retrieved on 29 December 2012.

[26] Lake Mead at Hoover Dam, Elevation (Feet)". www.usbr.gov. Bureau of Reclamation. Retrieved 20 March 2017.

[27] Water Facts

[28] Water in the Developing World

1.3.10 Further reading

Jackson, Robert B.; Carpenter, Stephen R.; Dahm, Cliord N.; McKnight, Diane M.; Naiman, Robert J.;
Postel, Sandra L.; Running, Steven W. (2001). Water in a changing world. Ecological Applications. 11 (4):
10271045. doi:10.1890/1051-0761(2001)011[1027:wiacw]2.0.co;2.
Moustakas, A.; Karakassis, I. How diverse is aquatic biodiversity research?". Aquatic Ecology. 39: 367375.
Richter, Brian D.; Mathews, Ruth; Harrison, David L.; Wigington, Robert (2003). Ecologically sustainable
water management: managing river ows for ecological integrity. Ecological Applications. 13 (1): 206224.

1.3.11 External links

The World Banks work and publications on water resources
World Bank report on Agricultural water management

FBA.org.uk, Freshwater Biological Association

Review of freshwater ecology in the UK

Environment-agency.gov.uk UK Environment Agency website

UK National pond monitoring network

U.S. Geological Survey

Fresh Water National Geographic

Safe and Sustainable Water for Haiti web site hosted by Grand Valley State University

Water fountain found in a small Swiss village. They are used as a drinking water source for people and cattle. Almost every Alpine
village has such a water source.
Chapter 2


2.1 Multi-stage ash distillation

Multi-stage ash distillation (MSF) is a water desalination process that distills sea water by ashing a portion
of the water into steam in multiple stages of what are essentially countercurrent heat exchangers. Multi-stage ash
distillation plants produce about 60% of all desalinated water in the world[1]

2.1.1 Principle




Schematic of a 'once-through' multi-stage ash desalinator

A - Steam in
B - Seawater in
C - Potable water out
D - Waste out
E - Steam out
F - Heat exchange
G - Condensation collection
H - Brine heater

The plant has a series of spaces called stages, each containing a heat exchanger and a condensate collector. The
sequence has a cold end and a hot end while intermediate stages have intermediate temperatures. The stages have
dierent pressures corresponding to the boiling points of water at the stage temperatures. After the hot end there is
a container called the brine heater.
When the plant is operating in steady state, feed water at the cold inlet temperature ows, or is pumped, through the
heat exchangers in the stages and warms up. When it reaches the brine heater it already has nearly the maximum
temperature. In the heater, an amount of additional heat is added. After the heater, the water ows through valves


MSF Desalination Plant at Jebel Ali G Station, Dubai

back into the stages that have ever lower pressure and temperature. As it ows back through the stages the water is
now called brine, to distinguish it from the inlet water. In each stage, as the brine enters, its temperature is above the
boiling point at the pressure of the stage, and a small fraction of the brine water boils (ashes) to steam thereby
reducing the temperature until an equilibrium is reached. The resulting steam is a little hotter than the feed water in
the heat exchanger. The steam cools and condenses against the heat exchanger tubes, thereby heating the feed water
as described earlier.
The total evaporation in all the stages is up to approximately 15% of the water owing through the system, depending
on the range of temperatures used. With increasing temperature there are growing diculties of scale formation and
corrosion. 120 C appears to be a maximum, although scale avoidance may require temperatures below 70 C.
The feed water carries away the latent heat of the condensed steam, maintaining the low temperature of the stage.
The pressure in the chamber remains constant as equal amounts of steam is formed when new warm brine enters the
stage and steam is removed as it condenses on the tubes of the heat exchanger. The equilibrium is stable, because if
at some point more vapor forms, the pressure increases and that reduces evaporation and increases condensation.
In the nal stage the brine and the condensate has a temperature near the inlet temperature. Then the brine and
condensate are pumped out from the low pressure in the stage to the ambient pressure. The brine and condensate still
carry a small amount of heat that is lost from the system when they are discharged. The heat that was added in the
heater makes up for this loss.
The heat added in the brine heater usually comes in the form of hot steam from an industrial process co-located with
the desalination plant. The steam is allowed to condense against tubes carrying the brine (similar to the stages).
The energy that makes possible the evaporation is all present in the brine as it leaves the heater. The reason for letting
the evaporation happen in multiple stages rather than a single stage at the lowest pressure and temperature, is that
in a single stage, the feed water would only warm to an intermediate temperature between the inlet temperature and
the heater, while much of the steam would not condense and the stage would not maintain the lowest pressure and
Such plants can operate at 2327 kWh/m3 (appr. 90 MJ/m3 ) of distilled water.[2]
Because the colder salt water entering the process counterows with the saline waste water/distilled water, relatively
little heat energy leaves in the outowmost of the heat is picked up by the colder saline water owing toward the

heater and the energy is recycled.

In addition, MSF distillation plants, especially large ones, are often paired with power plants in a cogeneration con-
guration. Waste heat from the power plant is used to heat the seawater, providing cooling for the power plant at the
same time. This reduces the energy needed by half to two-thirds, which drastically alters the economics of the plant,
since energy is by far the largest operating cost of MSF plants. Reverse osmosis, MSF distillations main competitor,
requires more pretreatment of the seawater and more maintenance, as well as energy in the form of work (electricity,
mechanical power) as opposed to cheaper low-grade waste heat.[3][4]

2.1.2 See also

Marine ash distillers

Multi-eect distillation

Multiple-eect evaporation

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis plant

Regenerative heat exchanger

2.1.3 References
[1] [IAEA. (2000). Introduction of Nuclear Desalination. IAEA Technical Report Series No. 400.]

[2] The Connection: Water and Energy Security. IAGS Energy Security. Retrieved 2008-12-11.

[3] Shoaiba Desalination Plant. Water Technology. Retrieved 2006-11-13.

[4] Tennille Winter; D. J. Pannell & Laura McCann (2006-08-21). The economics of desalination and its potential application
in Australia, SEA Working Paper 01/02. University of Western Australia, Perth. Archived from the original on 2007-09-
03. Retrieved 2006-11-13.

2.1.4 External links

International Desalination Association

Encyclopedia of Desalination and Water Resources

Prospects of improving energy consumption of the multi-stage ash distillation process O. A. Hamed, G. M.
Mustafa, K. BaMardouf and H. Al-Washmi. Saline Water Conversion Corporation, Saudi Arabia, 2015.Re-
trieved 21 May 2016.

2.2 Multiple-eect distillation

Multiple-eect distillation (MED) is a distillation process often used for sea water desalination. It consists of
multiple stages or eects. In each stage the feed water is heated by steam in tubes. Some of the water evaporates,
and this steam ows into the tubes of the next stage, heating and evaporating more water. Each stage essentially
reuses the energy from the previous stage.

2.2.1 Operating principles

The plant can be seen as a sequence of closed spaces separated by tube walls, with a heat source in one end and a
heat sink in the other end. Each space consists of two communicating subspaces, the exterior of the tubes of stage n
and the interior of the tubes in stage n+1. Each space has a lower temperature and pressure than the previous space,
and the tube walls have intermediate temperatures between the temperatures of the uids on each side. The pressure

Schematic of a multiple eect desalination plant. The rst stage is at the top. Pink areas are vapor, lighter blue areas are liquid
feed water. Stronger turquoise is condensate. It is not shown how feed water enters other stages than the rst. F - feed water in. S -
heating steam in. C - heating steam out. W - Fresh water (condensate) out. R - brine out. O - coolant in. P - coolant out. VC is the
last-stage cooler.

in a space cannot be in equilibrium with the temperatures of the walls of both subspaces. It has an intermediate
pressure. Then the pressure is too low or the temperature too high in the rst subspace, and the water evaporates.
In the second subspace, the pressure is too high or the temperature too low, and the vapor condenses. This carries
evaporation energy from the warmer rst subspace to the colder second subspace. At the second subspace the energy
ows by conduction through the tube walls to the colder next space.

2.2.2 Trade-os

The thinner the metal in the tubes and the thinner the layers of liquid on either side of the tube walls, the more ecient
is the energy transport from space to space. Introducing more stages between the heat source and sink reduces the
temperature dierence between the spaces and greatly reduces the heat transport per unit surface of the tubes. The
energy supplied is reused more times to evaporate more water, but the process takes more time. The amount of water
distilled per stage is directly proportional to the amount of energy transport. If the transport is slowed down, one can
increase the surface area per stage, i.e. the number and length of the tubes, at the expense of increased installation
The salt water collected at the bottom of each stage can be sprayed on the tubes in the next stage, since this water has
a suitable temperature and pressure near or slightly above the operating temperature and pressure in the next stage.
Some of this water will ash into steam as it is released into the next stage at lower pressure than the stage it came
The rst and last stages need external heating and cooling respectively. The amount of heat removed from the last
stage must nearly equal the amount of heat supplied to the rst stage. For sea water desalination, even the rst and
warmest stage is typically operated at a temperature below 70 C, to avoid scale formation.
The lowest pressure stages need relatively more surface area to achieve the same energy transport across the tube
walls. The expense of installing this surface area limits the usefulness of using very low pressures and temperatures
in the later stages. Gases dissolved in the feed water may contribute to reducing the pressure dierentials if they are
allowed to accumulate in the stages.
External feed water must be supplied to the rst stage. The tubes of the rst stage are heated using an external source
of steam or though any other source of heat.
Condensate (fresh water) from all the tubes in all the stages must be pumped out from the respective pressures of the
stages to the ambient pressure. The brine collected at the bottom of the last stage must be pumped out since it has
substantially lower pressure than the ambient pressure.

2.2.3 Advantages

Low energy consumption compared to other thermal processes

Operates at low temperature (< 70 C) and at low concentration (< 1.5) to avoid corrosion and scaling

Does not need pre-treatment of sea water and tolerates variations in sea water conditions

Highly reliable and simple to operate

Low maintenance cost

24-hour-a-day continuous operation with minimum supervision

Can be adapted to any heat source, including hot water, waste heat from power generation, industrial processes,
or solar heating.

2.2.4 See also

Multiple-eect evaporator

Multi-stage ash distillation


2.3 Vapor-compression desalination

Vapor compression desalination refers to a distillation process where the evaporation of sea or saline water is
obtained by the application of heat delivered by compressed vapor. Since compression of the vapor increases both
the pressure and temperature of the vapor, it is possible to use the latent heat rejected during condensation to generate
additional vapor. The eect of compressing water vapor can be done by two methods.
The rst method utilizes an ejector system motivated by steam at manometric pressure from an external source in
order to recycle vapor from the desalination process. The form is designated Ejecto or Thermo Compression.
Using the second method, water vapor is compressed by means of a mechanical device, electrically driven in most
cases. This form is designated mechanical vapor compression (MVC). The MVC process comprises two dierent
versions: Vapor Compression (VC) and Vacuum Vapor Compression (VVC). VC designates those systems in which
the evaporation eect takes place at manometric pressure, and VVC the systems in which evaporation takes place at
sub-atmospheric pressures (under vacuum).
The compression is mechanically powered by something such as a compression turbine. As vapor is generated, it is
passed over to a heat exchanging condenser which returns the vapor to water. The resulting fresh water is moved to
storage while the heat removed during condensation is transmitted to the remaining feedstock.
The VVC process is the more ecient distillation process available in the market today in terms of energy consumption
and water recovery ratio. As the system is electrically driven, it is considered a clean process, it is highly reliable
and simple to operate and maintain.

2.3.1 See also

Vapor-compression evaporation
Marine vapor-compression distillers

2.3.2 References
Vacuum vapour compression water makers for the oil and gas industry

Vacuum vapour compression water makers

2.4 Vapor-compression evaporation

Vapor-compression evaporation is the evaporation method by which a blower, compressor or jet ejector is used to
compress, and thus, increase the pressure of the vapor produced. Since the pressure increase of the vapor also gen-
erates an increase in the condensation temperature, the same vapor can serve as the heating medium for its mother
liquid or solution being concentrated, from which the vapor was generated to begin with. If no compression was
provided, the vapor would be at the same temperature as the boiling liquid/solution, and no heat transfer could take
It is also sometimes called vapor compression distillation (VCD). If compression is performed by a mechanically
driven compressor or blower, this evaporation process is usually referred to as MVR (mechanical vapor recom-
pression). In case of compression performed by high pressure motive steam ejectors, the process is usually called
thermocompression or steam compression.

2.4.1 MVR process

Energy input

In this case the energy input to the system lies in the pumping energy of the compressor. The theoretical energy
consumption will be equal to E = Q (H2 H1) , where

E is the total theoretical pumping energy

Q is the mass of vapors passing through the compressor

H1 , H2 are the total heat content of unit mass of vapors, respectively upstream and downstream the compressor.

In SI units, these are respectively measured in kJ, kg and kJ/kg.

The actual energy input will be greater than the theoretical value and will depend on the eciency of the system, which
is usually between 30% and 60%. For example, suppose the theoretical energy input is 300 kJ and the eciency is
30%. The actual energy input would be 300 x 100/30 = 1,000 kJ.
In a large unit, the compression power is between 35 and 45 kW per metric ton of compressed vapors.

Equipment for MVR evaporators

The compressor is necessarily the core of the unit. Compressors used for this application are usually of the centrifugal
type, or positive displacement units such as the Roots blowers, similar to the (much smaller) Roots type supercharger.
Very large units (evaporation capacity 100 metric tons per hour or more) sometimes use Axial-ow compressors. The
compression work will deliver the steam superheated if compared to the theoretical pressure/temperature equilibrium.
For this reason, the vast majority of MVR units feature a desuperheater between the compressor and the main heat

2.4.2 Thermocompression
Energy input

The energy input is here given by the energy of a quantity of steam (motive steam), at a pressure higher than
those of both the inlet and the outlet vapors. The quantity of compressed vapors is therefore higher than the inlet :
Qd = Qs + Qm
Where Q is the steam quantity at ejector delivery, Q at ejector suction and Q is the motive steam quantity. For
this reason, a thermocompression evaporator often features a vapor condenser, due to the possible excess of steam
necessary for the compression if compared with the steam required to evaporate the solution. The quantity Q of
motive steam per unit suction quantity is a function of both the motive ratio of motive steam pressure vs. suction
pressure and the compression ratio of delivery pressure vs. suction pressure. In principle, the higher the compression
ratio and the lower the motive ratio the higher will be the specic motive steam consumption, i. e. the less ecient
the energy balance.

Thermocompression equipment

The heart of any thermocompression evaporator is clearly the steam ejector, exhaustively described in the relevant
page. The size of the other pieces of equipment, such as the main heat exchanger, the vapor head, etc. (see evaporator
for details), is governed by the evaporation process.

2.4.3 Comparison
These two compression-type evaporators have dierent elds of application, although they do sometimes overlap.

An MVR unit will be preferable for a large unit, thanks to the reduced energy consumption. The largest single
body MVR evaporator built (1968, by Whiting Co., later Swenson Evaporator Co., Harvey, Ill. in Cir Marina,
Italy) was a salt crystallizer, evaporating approximately 400 metric tons per hour of water, featuring an axial-
ow compressor (Brown Boveri, later ABB). This unit was transformed around 1990 to become the rst eect
of a multiple eect evaporator. MVR evaporators with 10 tons or more evaporating capacity are common.

The compression ratio in a MVR unit does not usually exceed 1.8. At a compression ratio of 1.8, if the
evaporation is performed at atmospheric pressure (0.101 MPa), the condensation pressure after compression
will be 0.101 x 1.8 = 0.1818 [MPa]. At this pressure, the condensation temperature of the water vapor at

the heat exchanger will be 390 K. Taking into account the boiling point elevation of the salt water we wish to
evaporate (8 K for a saturated salt solution), this leaves a temperature dierence of less than 8 K at the heat
exchanger. A small T leads to slow heat transfer, meaning that we will need a very large heating surface to
transfer the required heat. Axial-ow and Roots compressor may reach slightly higher compression ratios.

Thermocompression evaporators may reach higher compression ratios - at a cost. A compression ratio of 2 is
possible (and sometimes more) but unless the motive steam is at a reasonably high pressure (say, 16 bar g - 250
psig - or more), the motive steam consumption will be in the range of 2 kg per kg of suction vapors. A higher
compression ratio means a smaller heat exchanger, and a reduced investment cost. Moreover, a compressor is
an expensive machine, while an ejector is much simpler and cheap.

As a conclusion, MVR machines are used in large, energy-ecient units, while thermocompression units tend to limit
their use to small units, where energy consumption is not a big issue.

2.4.4 Eciency
The eciency and feasibility of this process depends on the eciency of the compressing device (e.g., blower, com-
pressor or steam ejector) and the heat transfer coecient attained in the heat exchanger contacting the condensing
vapor and the boiling mother solution/liquid. Theoretically, if the resulting condensate is subcooled, this process
could allow full recovery of the latent heat of vaporization that would otherwise be lost if the vapor, rather than the
condensate, was the nal product; therefore, this method of evaporation is very energy ecient. The evaporation
process may be solely driven by the mechanical work provided by the compressing device.

2.4.5 Some uses

Clean water production

A vapor-compression evaporator, like most evaporators, can make reasonably clean water from any water source. In
a salt crystallizer, for example, a typical analysis of the resulting condensate shows a typical content of residual salt
not higher than 50 ppm or, in terms of electrical conductance, not higher than 10 S/cm. This results in a drinkable
water, if the other sanitary requirements are fullled. While this cannot compete in the marketplace with reverse
osmosis or demineralization, vapor compression chiey diers from these thanks to its ability to make clean water
from saturated or even crystallizing brines with total dissolved solids (TDS) up to 650 g/L. The other two technologies
can make clean water from sources no higher in TDS than approximately 35 g/L.
For economic reasons evaporators are seldom operated on low-TDS water sources. Those applications are lled by
reverse osmosis. The already brackish water which enters a typical evaporator is concentrated further. The increased
dissolved solids act to increase the boiling point well beyond that of pure water. Seawater with a TDS of approximately
30 g/L exhibits a boiling point elevation of less than 1 K but saturated sodium chloride solution at 360 g/L has a boiling
point elevation of about 7 K. This boiling point elevation represents a challenge for vapor-compression evaporation
in that it increases the pressure ratio that the steam compressor must attain to eect vaporization. Since boiling point
elevation determines the pressure ratio in the compressor, it is the main overall factor in operating costs.

Steam-assisted gravity drainage

The technology used today to extract bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands is the water-intensive steam-assisted grav-
ity drainage (SAGD) method.[1] In the late 1990s former nuclear engineer Bill Heins of General Electric Company's
RCC Thermal Products conceived an evaporator technology called falling lm or mechanical vapour compression
evaporation. In 1999 and 2002 Petro-Canadas MacKay River facility was the rst to install 1999 and 2002 GE
SAGD zero-liquid discharge (ZLD) systems using a combination of the new evaporative technology and crystallizer
system in which all the water was recycled and only solids were discharged o site.[1] This new evaporative technol-
ogy began to replace older water treatment techniques employed by SAGD facilities which involved the use of warm
lime softening to remove silica and magnesium and weak acid cation ion exchange used to remove calcium.[1] The
vapor-compression evaporation process replaced the once-through steam generators (OTSG) traditionally used for
steam production. OTSG generally ran on natural gas which in 2008 had become increasingly valuable. The water
quality of evaporators is four times better which is needed for the drum boilers. The evaporators, when coupled with
standard drum boilers, produce steam which is more reliable, less costly to operate, and less water-intensive. By

2008 about 85 per cent of SAGD facilities in the Alberta oil sands had adopted evaporative technology. SAGD,
unlike other thermal processes such as cyclic steam stimulation (CSS), requires 100 per cent quality steam.[1]

2.4.6 See also

Cristiani compressed steam system
Slingshot (water vapor distillation system)
Vapor-compression refrigeration

2.4.7 References
[1] Smith, Maurice (October 2008), Watershed moment: SAGD operators embrace new water treatment options, Air Water
Land, retrieved 11 December 2014

2.5 Vacuum distillation

Vacuum distillation is a method of distillation whereby the pressure above the liquid mixture to be distilled is
reduced to less than its vapor pressure (usually less than atmospheric pressure) causing evaporation of the most
volatile liquid(s) (those with the lowest boiling points).[1] This distillation method works on the principle that boiling
occurs when the vapor pressure of a liquid exceeds the ambient pressure. Vacuum distillation is used with or without
heating the mixture.

2.5.1 Laboratory-scale applications

Laboratory-scale vacuum distillation is used when liquids to be distilled have high atmospheric boiling points or
chemically change at temperatures near their atmospheric boiling points.[2][3][4] Temperature sensitive materials (such
as beta carotene) also require vacuum distillation to remove solvents from the mixture without damaging the product.
Another reason vacuum distillation is used is that compared to steam distillation there is a lower level of residue build
up. This is important in commercial applications where heat transfer is produced using heat exchangers.
There are many laboratory applications for vacuum distillation as well as many types of distillation set-ups and ap-
Safety is an important consideration when using glassware as part of the set-up. All of the glass components should be
carefully examined for scratches and cracks which could result in implosions when the vacuum is applied. Wrapping
as much of the glassware with tape as is practical helps to prevent dangerous scattering of glass shards in the event of
an implosion.

Rotary evaporation

Rotary evaporation[5] is a type of vacuum distillation apparatus used to remove bulk solvents from the liquid being
distilled. It is also used by environmental regulatory agencies for determining the amount of solvents in paint, coatings
and inks.[6]
Rotary evaporation set-ups include an apparatus referred to as a Rotovap which rotates the distillation ask (sometimes
called the still pot) to enhance the distillation. Rotating the ask throws up liquid on the walls of the ask and thus
increases the surface area for evaporation.
Heat is often applied to the rotating distillation ask by partially immersing it in a heated bath of water or oil. Typi-
cally, the vacuum in such systems is generated by a water aspirator or a vacuum pump of some type.

Distillation of high-boiling and/or air sensitive materials

Some compounds have high boiling point temperatures as well as being air sensitive. A simple laboratory vacuum
distillation glassware set-up can be used, in which the vacuum can be replaced with an inert gas after the distillation

Figure 1: At atmospheric pressure, dimethyl sulfoxide boils at 189C. Under a vacuum, it distills o into the connected receiver at
only 70C.

is complete.
However, this is not a completely satisfactory system if it is desired to collect fractions under a reduced pressure.
For better results or for very air sensitive compounds, either a Perkin triangle distillation set-up or a short-path
distillation set-up can be used.

Perkin triangle distillation set-up The Perkin triangle set-up (Image 5) uses a series of Teon valves to allow
the distilled fractions to be isolated from the distillation ask without the main body of the distillation set-up being
removed from either the vacuum or the heat source, and thus can remain in a state of reux.
To do this, the distillate receiver vessel is rst isolated from the vacuum by means of the Teon valves.
The vacuum over the sample is then replaced with an inert gas (such as nitrogen or argon) and the distillate receiver
can then be stoppered and removed from the system.

Vacuum distillation set-up using a short-path head Vacuum distillation of moderately air/water-sensitive liquid
can be done using standard Schlenk-line techniques (Image 6). When assembling the set-up apparatus, all of the
connecting lines are clamped so that they cannot pop o.
Once the apparatus is assembled, and the liquid to be distilled is in the still pot, the desired vacuum is established
in the system by using the vacuum connection on the short-path distillation head. Care is taken to prevent potential
bumping as the liquid in the still pot degases.
While establishing the vacuum, the ow of coolant is started through the short-path distillation head. Once the desired
vacuum is established, heat is applied to the still pot.
If needed, the rst portion of distillate can be discarded by purging with inert gas and changing out the distillate
When the distillation is complete: the heat is removed, the vacuum connection is closed, and inert gas is purged
through the distillation head and the distillate receiver. While under the inert gas purge, remove the distillate receiver
and cap it with an air-tight cap. The distillate receiver can be stored under vacuum or under inert gas by using the
side-arm on the distillation ask.

2.5.2 Industrial-scale applications

Figure 2: Simplied animation of a typical dry vacuum distillation column as used in oil reneries

Industrial-scale vacuum distillation[8] has several advantages. Close boiling mixtures may require many equilibrium
stages to separate the key components. One tool to reduce the number of stages needed is to utilize vacuum
distillation.[9] Vacuum distillation columns (as depicted in Figures 2 and 3) typically used in oil reneries have di-
ameters ranging up to about 14 meters (46 feet), heights ranging up to about 50 meters (164 feet), and feed rates
ranging up to about 25,400 cubic meters per day (160,000 barrels per day).
Vacuum distillation increases the relative volatility of the key components in many applications. The higher the
relative volatility, the more separable are the two components; this connotes fewer stages in a distillation column in
order to eect the same separation between the overhead and bottoms products. Lower pressures increase relative
volatilities in most systems.
A second advantage of vacuum distillation is the reduced temperature requirement at lower pressures. For many
systems, the products degrade or polymerize at elevated temperatures.
Vacuum distillation can improve a separation by:

Prevention of product degradation or polymer formation because of reduced pressure leading to lower tower
bottoms temperatures,
Reduction of product degradation or polymer formation because of reduced mean residence time especially in
columns using packing rather than trays.
Increasing capacity, yield, and purity.

Another advantage of vacuum distillation is the reduced capital cost, at the expense of slightly more operating cost.
Utilizing vacuum distillation can reduce the height and diameter, and thus the capital cost of a distillation column.

Vacuum distillation in petroleum rening

Petroleum crude oil is a complex mixture of hundreds of dierent hydrocarbon compounds generally having from 3
to 60 carbon atoms per molecule, although there may be small amounts of hydrocarbons outside that range.[10][11][12]
The rening of crude oil begins with distilling the incoming crude oil in a so-called atmospheric distillation column
operating at pressures slightly above atmospheric pressure.[8][10][11]
Vacuum distillation can also be referred as low temperature distillation
In distilling the crude oil, it is important not to subject the crude oil to temperatures above 370 to 380 C because
the high molecular weight components in the crude oil will undergo thermal cracking and form petroleum coke at
temperatures above that. Formation of coke would result in plugging the tubes in the furnace that heats the feed stream
to the crude oil distillation column. Plugging would also occur in the piping from the furnace to the distillation column
as well as in the column itself.
The constraint imposed by limiting the column inlet crude oil to a temperature of less than 370 to 380 C yields a
residual oil from the bottom of the atmospheric distillation column consisting entirely of hydrocarbons that boil above
370 to 380 C.
To further distill the residual oil from the atmospheric distillation column, the distillation must be performed at
absolute pressures as low as 10 to 40 mmHg (also referred to as Torr) so as to limit the operating temperature to less
than 370 to 380 C.
Figure 2 is a simplied process diagram of a petroleum renery vacuum distillation column that depicts the internals
of the column and Figure 3 is a photograph of a large vacuum distillation column in a petroleum renery.
The 10 to 40 mmHg absolute pressure in a vacuum distillation column increases the volume of vapor formed per
volume of liquid distilled. The result is that such columns have very large diameters.[13]
Distillation columns such those in Images 1 and 2, may have diameters of 15 meters or more, heights ranging up to
about 50 meters, and feed rates ranging up to about 25,400 cubic meters per day (160,000 barrels per day).
The vacuum distillation column internals must provide good vaporliquid contacting while, at the same time, main-
taining a very low pressure increase from the top of the column top to the bottom. Therefore, the vacuum column
uses distillation trays only where withdrawing products from the side of the column (referred to as side draws). Most
of the column uses packing material for the vaporliquid contacting because such packing has a lower pressure drop
than distillation trays. This packing material can be either structured sheet metal or randomly dumped packing such
as Raschig rings.

The absolute pressure of 10 to 40 mmHg in the vacuum column is most often achieved by using multiple stages of
steam jet ejectors.[14]
Many industries, other than the petroleum rening industry, use vacuum distillation on a much a smaller scale.

2.5.3 Molecular distillation

Molecular distillation is vacuum distillation below the pressure of 0.01 torr[15] (1.3 Pa). 0.01 torr is one order of
magnitude above high vacuum, where uids are in the free molecular ow regime, i.e. the mean free path of molecules
is comparable to the size of the equipment. The gaseous phase no longer exerts signicant pressure on the substance to
be evaporated, and consequently, rate of evaporation no longer depends on pressure. That is, because the continuum
assumptions of uid dynamics no longer apply, mass transport is governed by molecular dynamics rather than uid
dynamics. Thus, a short path between the hot surface and the cold surface is necessary, typically by suspending a hot
plate covered with a lm of feed next to a cold plate with a line of sight in between. Molecular distillation is used
industrially for purication of oils.

2.5.4 Gallery


1 6
A simple short path vacuum distillation apparatus

Kugelrohr a short path vacuum distillation apparatus





3 11

2 12

Perkin triangle for air-sensitive vacuum distillation

Vacuum distillation apparatus

2.5.5 See also

Continuous distillation

Fractionating column

Fractional distillation


2.5.6 References
This article incorporates material from the Citizendium article "Vacuum distillation", which is licensed
under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License but not under the GFDL.

[1] Laurence M. Harwood; Christopher J. Moody (13 June 1989). Experimental organic chemistry: Principles and Practice
(Illustrated ed.). WileyBlackwell. pp. 147149. ISBN 978-0-632-02017-1.

[2] Distillation (CU Boulder Organic Chemistry Teaching Labs)

[3] Vacuum Distillation: New Method for Analyzing Organic Chemicals in a Wide Array of Samples (United States Environ-
mental Protection Agency)

[4] What is vacuum distillation? (Argonne National Laboratory's NEWTON Ask-A-Scientist)

[5] Operation of a Rotary Evaporator (Rotovap) (from the website of the University of British Columbia)

[6] SCAQMD Test method 302-91

[7] Energy Institute website page

[8] Kister, Henry Z. (1992). Distillation Design (1st ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-034909-6.

[9] Karl Kolmetz, Andrew W. Sloley et al. (2004), Designing Distillation Columns for Vacuum Service, 11th India Oil and Gas
Symposium and International Exhibition, September 2004, Mumbai, India (also published in Hydrocarbon Processing, May

[10] Gary, J.H. & Handwerk, G.E. (1984). Petroleum Rening Technology and Economics (2nd ed.). Marcel Dekker, Inc. ISBN

[11] Leer, W.L. (1985). Petroleum rening for the nontechnical person (2nd ed.). PennWell Books. ISBN 0-87814-280-0.

[12] James G, Speight (2006). The Chemistry and Technology of Petroleum (Fourth ed.). CRC Press. 0-8493-9067-2.

[13] Karl Kolmetz, Andrew W. Sloley et al (2004), Designing Distillation Columns for Vacuum Service, 11th India Oil and Gas
Symposium and International Exhibition, September 2004, Mumbai, India (also published in Hydrocarbon Processing, May

[14] Photo gallery (from website of Graham Manufacturing Company)

[15] Vogels 5th ed.

2.5.7 External links

D1160 Vacuum Distillation

How vacuum distillation works: http://www.nhe.uk.com/process-water-recycling/water-treatment/vacudest-vacuum-distillation

Chapter 3

Ion exchange

3.1 Ion exchange

Ion exchange is an exchange of ions between two electrolytes or between an electrolyte solution and a complex. In
most cases the term is used to denote the processes of purication, separation, and decontamination of aqueous and
other ion-containing solutions with solid polymeric or mineralic 'ion exchangers.
Typical ion exchangers are ion exchange resins (functionalized porous or gel polymer), zeolites, montmorillonite,
clay, and soil humus. Ion exchangers are either cation exchangers that exchange positively charged ions (cations)
or anion exchangers that exchange negatively charged ions (anions). There are also amphoteric exchangers that
are able to exchange both cations and anions simultaneously. However, the simultaneous exchange of cations and
anions can be more eciently performed in mixed beds that contain a mixture of anion and cation exchange resins,
or passing the treated solution through several dierent ion exchange materials.
Ion exchanges can be unselective or have binding preferences for certain ions or classes of ions, depending on their
chemical structure. This can be dependent on the size of the ions, their charge, or their structure. Typical examples
of ions that can bind to ion exchangers are:

H+ (proton) and OH (hydroxide)

Single-charged monatomic ions like Na+ , K+ , and Cl
Double-charged monatomic ions like Ca2+ and Mg2+
Polyatomic inorganic ions like SO4 2 and PO4 3
Organic bases, usually molecules containing the amine functional group -NR2 H+
Organic acids, often molecules containing -COO (carboxylic acid) functional groups
Biomolecules that can be ionized: amino acids, peptides, proteins, etc.

Along with absorption and adsorption, ion exchange is a form of sorption.

Ion exchange is a reversible process and the ion exchanger can be regenerated or loaded with desirable ions by washing
with an excess of these ions.

3.1.1 Applications
Ion exchange is widely used in the food & beverage, hydrometallurgy, metals nishing, chemical & petrochemical,
pharmaceutical, sugar & sweeteners, ground & potable water, nuclear, softening & industrial water, semiconductor,
power, and a host of other industries.
A typical example of application is preparation of high purity water for power engineering, electronic and nuclear in-
dustries; i.e. polymeric or mineralic insoluble ion exchangers are widely used for water softening, water purication,
water decontamination, etc.


Ion exchanger

Ion exchange resin beads

Ion exchange column, used for protein purication

Ion exchange is a method widely used in household (laundry detergents and water lters) to produce soft water. This
is accomplished by exchanging calcium Ca2+ and magnesium Mg2+ cations against Na+ or H+ cations (see water
softening). Another application for ion exchange in domestic water treatment is the removal of nitrate and natural
organic matter.
Industrial and analytical ion exchange chromatography is another area to be mentioned. Ion exchange chromatography
is a chromatographical method that is widely used for chemical analysis and separation of ions. For example, in
biochemistry it is widely used to separate charged molecules such as proteins. An important area of the application
is extraction and purication of biologically produced substances such as proteins (amino acids) and DNA/RNA.
Ion-exchange processes are used to separate and purify metals, including separating uranium from plutonium and
other actinides, including thorium, and lanthanum, neodymium, ytterbium, samarium, lutetium, from each other and
the other lanthanides. There are two series of rare earth metals, the lanthanides and the actinides, both of whose
families all have very similar chemical and physical properties. Using methods developed by Frank Spedding in the
1940s, ion-exchange used to be the only practical way to separate them in large quantities, until the advent of solvent
extraction techniques that can be scaled up enormously.
A very important case is the PUREX process (plutonium-uranium extraction process), which is used to separate the
plutonium and the uranium from the spent fuel products from a nuclear reactor, and to be able to dispose of the waste
products. Then, the plutonium and uranium are available for making nuclear-energy materials, such as new reactor
fuel and nuclear weapons.

The ion-exchange process is also used to separate other sets of very similar chemical elements, such as zirconium and
hafnium, which is also very important for the nuclear industry. Zirconium is practically transparent to free neutrons,
used in building reactors, but hafnium is a very strong absorber of neutrons, used in reactor control rods.
Ion exchangers are used in nuclear reprocessing and the treatment of radioactive waste.
Ion exchange resins in the form of thin membranes are used in chloralkali process, fuel cells and vanadium redox

Large cation/anion ion exchangers used in water purication of boiler feedwater.[1]

Ion exchange can also be used to remove hardness from water by exchanging calcium and magnesium ions for sodium
ions in an ion exchange column. Liquid (aqueous) phase ion exchange desalination has been demonstrated.[2] In this
technique anions and cations in salt water are exchanged for carbonate anions and calcium cations respectively using
electrophoresis. Calcium and carbonate ions then react to form calcium carbonate, which then precipitates leaving
behind fresh water. The desalination occurs at ambient temperature and pressure and requires no membranes or solid
ion exchangers. Theoretical energy eciency of this method is on par with electrodialysis and reverse osmosis.

Other applications

In soil science, cation exchange capacity is the ion exchange capacity of soil for positively charged ions. Soils
can be considered as natural weak cation exchangers.

In pollution remediation and geotechnical engineering, ion exchange capacity determines the swelling capacity
of swelling or Expansive clay such as Montmorillonite, which can be used to capture pollutants and charged

In planar waveguide manufacturing, ion exchange is used to create the guiding layer of higher index of refrac-

Dealkalization, removal of alkali ions from a glass surface.

Chemically strengthened glass, produced by exchanging K+ for Na+ in soda glass surfaces using KNO3 melts.

3.1.2 Regeneration wastewater

Most ion exchange systems are containers of ion exchange resin operated on a cyclic basis. Water ows through the
resin container until the resin is considered exhausted when water leaving the exchanger contains more than the desired
maximum concentration of the ions being removed. Resin is then regenerated by sequentially backwashing the resin
bed to remove accumulated solids, ushing removed ions from the resin with a concentrated solution of replacement
ions, and rinsing the ushing solution from the resin. Production of backwash, ushing, and rinsing wastewater during
regeneration of ion exchange media limits the usefulness of ion exchange for wastewater treatment.[3]
Water softeners are regenerated with brine containing ten percent sodium chloride.[4] Aside from the soluble chloride
salts of divalent cations removed from the softened water, softener regeneration wastewater contains the unused
fty to seventy percent of the sodium chloride regeneration ushing brine required to reverse ion exchange resin
equilibria. Deionizing resin regeneration with sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide is approximately twenty to forty
percent ecient. Neutralized deionizer regeneration wastewater contains all of the removed ions plus 2.5 to ve times
their equivalent concentration as sodium sulfate.[5]

3.1.3 See also

Ion chromatography
Alkali anion exchange membrane
Ion-exchange resin
Ion exchange membranes

3.1.4 References
[1] Mischissin, Stephen G. (7 February 2012). University of Rochester - Investigation of Steam Turbine Extraction Line
Failures (PDF). Arlington, VA. pp. 2526. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
[2] Shkolnikov, Viktor; Bahga, Supreet S.; Santiago, Juan G. (August 28, 2012). Desalination and hydrogen, chlorine, and
sodium hydroxide production via electrophoretic ion exchange and precipitation (PDF). 14 (32). Phys. Chem. Chem
[3] Kemmer, pp.12-7&12-25
[4] Betz, p.59
[5] Kemmer, p.12-8

Betz Laboratories (1976). Handbook of Industrial Water Conditioning (7th Edition). Betz Laboratories.
Ion Exchangers (K. Dorfner, ed.), Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 1991.
C. E. Harland, Ion exchange: Theory and Practice, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 1994.
Friedrich G. Helerich (1962). Ion Exchange. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-68784-1.
Kemmer, Frank N. (1979). The NALCO Water Handbook. McGraw-Hill.
Ion exchange (D. Muraviev, V. Gorshkov, A. Warshawsky), M. Dekker, New York, 2000.
A. A. Zagorodni, Ion Exchange Materials: Properties and Applications, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2006.

3.1.5 External links

Illustrated and well dened chemistry lab practical on ion exchange from Dartmouth College
Some applets illustrating ion exchange processes
A simple explanation of deionization
Ion exchange, BioMineWiki
Chapter 4

Membrane processes

4.1 Membrane technology

Membrane technology covers all engineering approaches for the transport of substances between two fractions with
the help of permeable membranes. In general, mechanical separation processes for separating gaseous or liquid
streams use membrane technology.

4.1.1 Applications

Ultraltration for a swimming pool

Membrane separation processes operate without heating and therefore use less energy than conventional thermal
separation processes such as distillation, sublimation or crystallization. The separation process is purely physical and


Venous-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation scheme

both fractions (permeate and retentate) can be used. Cold separation using membrane technology is widely used in the
food technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Furthermore, using membranes enables separations
to take place that would be impossible using thermal separation methods. For example, it is impossible to separate
the constituents of azeotropic liquids or solutes which form isomorphic crystals by distillation or recrystallization but
such separations can be achieved using membrane technology. Depending on the type of membrane, the selective
separation of certain individual substances or substance mixtures is possible. Important technical applications include
the production of drinking water by reverse osmosis (worldwide approximately 7 million cubic metres annually),
ltrations in the food industry, the recovery of organic vapours such as petro-chemical vapour recovery and the
electrolysis for chlorine production.
In waste water treatment, membrane technology is becoming increasingly important. With the help of ultra/microltration
it is possible to remove particles, colloids and macromolecules, so that waste-water can be disinfected in this way.
This is needed if waste-water is discharged into sensitive waters especially those designated for contact water-sports
and recreation.
About half of the market is in medical applications such as use in articial kidneys to remove toxic substances by
hemodialysis and as articial lung for bubble-free supply of oxygen in the blood.
The importance of membrane technology is growing in the eld of environmental protection (NanoMemPro IPPC
Database). Even in modern energy recovery techniques membranes are increasingly used, for example in fuel cells
and in osmotic power plants.

4.1.2 Mass transfer

Two basic models can be distinguished for mass transfer through the membrane:

the solution-diusion model and

the hydrodynamic model.


In real membranes, these two transport mechanisms certainly occur side by side, especially during ultra-ltration.

Solution-diusion model

In the solution-diusion model, transport occurs only by diusion. The component that needs to be transported
must rst be dissolved in the membrane. The general approach of the solution-diusion model is to assume that the
chemical potential of the feed and permeate uids are in equilibrium with the adjacent membrane surfaces such that
appropriate expressions for the chemical potential in the uid and membrane phases can be equated at the solution-
membrane interface. This principle is more important for dense membranes without natural pores such as those used
for reverse osmosis and in fuel cells. During the ltration process a boundary layer forms on the membrane. This
concentration gradient is created by molecules which cannot pass through the membrane. The eect is referred as
concentration polarization and, occurring during the ltration, leads to a reduced trans-membrane ow (ux). Con-
centration polarization is, in principle, reversible by cleaning the membrane which results in the initial ux being
almost totally restored. Using a tangential ow to the membrane (cross-ow ltration) can also minimize concentra-
tion polarization.

Hydrodynamic model

Transport through pores in the simplest case is done convectively. This requires the size of the pores to be
smaller than the diameter of the two separate components. Membranes which function according to this principle are
used mainly in micro- and ultraltration. They are used to separate macromolecules from solutions, colloids from a
dispersion or remove bacteria. During this process the retained particles or molecules form a pulpy mass (lter cake)
on the membrane, and this blockage of the membrane hampers the ltration. This blockage can be reduced by the use
of the cross-ow method (cross-ow ltration). Here, the liquid to be ltered ows along the front of the membrane
and is separated by the pressure dierence between the front and back of the membrane into retentate (the owing
concentrate) on the front and permeate (ltrate) on the back. The tangential ow on the front creates a shear stress
that cracks the lter cake and reduces the fouling.

4.1.3 Membrane operations

According to the driving force of the operation it is possible to distinguish:

Pressure driven operations

reverse osmosis
Concentration driven operations
forward osmosis
articial lung
gas separation
Operations in an electric potential gradient
membrane electrolysis e.g. chloralkali process
fuel cell
Operations in a temperature gradient
membrane distillation

4.1.4 Membrane shapes and ow geometries

Cross-ow geometry

Dead-end geometry

There are two main ow congurations of membrane processes: cross-ow (or) tangential ow and dead-end l-
trations. In cross-ow ltration the feed ow is tangential to the surface of membrane, retentate is removed from
the same side further downstream, whereas the permeate ow is tracked on the other side. In dead-end ltration
the direction of the uid ow is normal to the membrane surface. Both ow geometries oer some advantages and

disadvantages. Generally, dead-end ltration is used for feasibility studies on a laboratory scale. The dead-end mem-
branes are relatively easy to fabricate which reduces the cost of the separation process. The dead-end membrane
separation process is easy to implement and the process is usually cheaper than cross-ow membrane ltration. The
dead-end ltration process is usually a batch-type process, where the ltering solution is loaded (or slowly fed) into
the membrane device, which then allows passage of some particles subject to the driving force. The main disadvan-
tage of a dead end ltration is the extensive membrane fouling and concentration polarization. The fouling is usually
induced faster at higher driving forces. Membrane fouling and particle retention in a feed solution also builds up
a concentration gradients and particle back ow (concentration polarization). The tangential ow devices are more
cost and labor-intensive, but they are less susceptible to fouling due to the sweeping eects and high shear rates of the
passing ow. The most commonly used synthetic membrane devices (modules) are at sheets/plates, spiral wounds,
and hollow bers.
Flat plates are usually constructed as circular thin at membrane surfaces to be used in dead-end geometry modules.
Spiral wounds are constructed from similar at membranes but in the form of a pocket containing two membrane
sheets separated by a highly porous support plate.[1] Several such pockets are then wound around a tube to create
a tangential ow geometry and to reduce membrane fouling. hollow ber modules consist of an assembly of self-
supporting bers with dense skin separation layers, and a more open matrix helping to withstand pressure gradients
and maintain structural integrity.[1] The hollow ber modules can contain up to 10,000 bers ranging from 200 to
2500 m in diameter; The main advantage of hollow ber modules is very large surface area within an enclosed
volume, increasing the eciency of the separation process.

permeate permeate

feed concentrate

permeate ux
impermeable sheet


impermeable sheet

Spiral wound membrane module

Hollow ber membrane module

Separation of air into oxygen and nitrogen through a membrane

Disc tube module is using a cross-ow geometry, and consists of a pressure tube and hydraulic discs, which are held
by a central tension rod, and membrane cushions that lie between two discs.[2]

4.1.5 Membrane performance and governing equations

The selection of synthetic membranes for a targeted separation process is usually based on few requirements. Mem-
branes have to provide enough mass transfer area to process large amounts of feed stream. The selected membrane
has to have high selectivity (rejection) properties for certain particles; it has to resist fouling and to have high me-
chanical stability. It also needs to be reproducible and to have low manufacturing costs. The main modeling equation
for the dead-end ltration at constant pressure drop is represented by Darcys law:[1]
( )
dVp p 1
dt = Q = A Rm +R

where V and Q are the volume of the permeate and its volumetric ow rate respectively (proportional to same
characteristics of the feed ow), is dynamic viscosity of permeating uid, A is membrane area, R and R are
the respective resistances of membrane and growing deposit of the foulants. R can be interpreted as a membrane
resistance to the solvent (water) permeation. This resistance is a membrane intrinsic property and is expected to be
fairly constant and independent of the driving force, p. R is related to the type of membrane foulant, its concentration
in the ltering solution, and the nature of foulant-membrane interactions. Darcys law allows for calculation of the
membrane area for a targeted separation at given conditions. The solute sieving coecient is dened by the equation:[1]
S= Cf

where C and C are the solute concentrations in feed and permeate respectively. Hydraulic permeability is dened
as the inverse of resistance and is represented by the equation:[1]
Lp = p
where J is the permeate ux which is the volumetric ow rate per unit of membrane area. The solute sieving coecient
and hydraulic permeability allow the quick assessment of the synthetic membrane performance.

4.1.6 Membrane separation processes

Membrane separation processes have a very important role in the separation industry. Nevertheless, they were
not considered technically important until the mid-1970s. Membrane separation processes dier based on sepa-
ration mechanisms and size of the separated particles. The widely used membrane processes include microltration,
ultraltration, nanoltration, reverse osmosis, electrolysis, dialysis, electrodialysis, gas separation, vapor permeation,
pervaporation, membrane distillation, and membrane contactors.[3] All processes except for pervaporation involve no
phase change. All processes except (electro)dialysis are pressure driven. Microtration and ultraltration is widely
used in food and beverage processing (beer microltration, apple juice ultraltration), biotechnological applications
and pharmaceutical industry (antibiotic production, protein purication), water purication and wastewater treat-
ment, the microelectronics industry, and others. Nanoltration and reverse osmosis membranes are mainly used for
water purication purposes. Dense membranes are utilized for gas separations (removal of CO2 from natural gas,
separating N2 from air, organic vapor removal from air or a nitrogen stream) and sometimes in membrane distillation.
The later process helps in the separation of azeotropic compositions reducing the costs of distillation processes.

4.1.7 Pore size and selectivity

The pore sizes of technical membranes are specied dierently depending on the manufacturer. One common dis-
tinction is by nominal pore size. It describes the maximum pore size distribution[4] and gives only vague information
about the retention capacity of a membrane. The exclusion limit or cut-o of the membrane is usually specied in
the form of NMWC (nominal molecular weight cut-o, or MWCO, molecular weight cut o, with units in Dalton). It
is dened as the minimum molecular weight of a globular molecule that is retained to 90% by the membrane. The
cut-o, depending on the method, can by converted to so-called D90 , which is then expressed in a metric unit. In
practice the MWCO of the membrane should be at least 20% lower than the molecular weight of the molecule that
is to be separated.
Filter membranes are divided into four classes according to pore size:
The form and shape of the membrane pores are highly dependent on the manufacturing process and are often dicult
to specify. Therefore, for characterization, test ltrations are carried out and the pore diameter refers to the diameter
of the smallest particles which could not pass through the membrane.
The rejection can be determined in various ways and provides an indirect measurement of the pore size. One pos-

Ranges of membrane based separations

sibility is the ltration of macromolecules (often dextran, polyethylene glycol or albumin), another is measurement
of the cut-o by gel permeation chromatography. These methods are used mainly to measure membranes for ultra-
ltration applications. Another testing method is the ltration of particles with dened size and their measurement
with a particle sizer or by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). A vivid characterization is to measure the
rejection of dextran blue or other colored molecules. The retention of bacteriophage and bacteria, the so-called
bacteriachallenge test, can also provide information about the pore size.
To determine the pore diameter, physical methods such as porosimetry (mercury, liquid-liquid porosimetry and Bub-
ble Point Test) are also used, but a certain form of the pores (such as cylindrical or concatenated spherical holes) is
assumed. Such methods are used for membranes whose pore geometry does not match the ideal, and we get nom-
inal pore diameter, which characterizes the membrane, but does not necessarily reect its actual ltration behavior
and selectivity.
The selectivity is highly dependent on the separation process, the composition of the membrane and its electrochemical
properties in addition to the pore size. With high selectivity, isotopes can be enriched (uranium enrichment) in nuclear
engineering or industrial gases like nitrogen can be recovered (gas separation). Ideally, even racemics can be enriched
with a suitable membrane.
When choosing membranes selectivity has priority over a high permeability, as low ows can easily be oset by
increasing the lter surface with a modular structure. In gas phase ltration dierent deposition mechanisms are
operative, so that particles having sizes below the pore size of the membrane can be retained as well.

4.1.8 See also

Articial membrane

Particle deposition

The pore distribution of a ctitious ultraltration membrane with the nominal pore size and the D90

4.1.9 Notes
[1] Osada, Y., Nakagawa, T., Membrane Science and Technology, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc,1992.

[2] RCDT Module - Radial Channel Disc Tube (RCDT) Module. Radial Channel Disc Tube (RCDT) Module. Retrieved

[3] Pinnau, I., Freeman, B.D., Membrane Formation and Modication, ACS, 1999.

[4] TU Berlin script - 2 Principles of Membrane Processes (; PDF-Datei; 6,85 MB) Page 6 (German)

[5] Experience and potential application of nanoltration - University of Linz (German) (PDF)

4.1.10 References
Osada, Y., Nakagawa, T., Membrane Science and Technology, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc,1992.

Zeman, Leos J., Zydney, Andrew L., Microltration and Ultratration, Principles and Applications., New York:
Marcel Dekker, Inc,1996.

Mulder M., Basic Principles of Membrane Technology, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, 1996.

Jornitz, Maik W., Sterile Filtration, Springer, Germany, 2006

Van Reis R., Zydney A. Bioprocess membrane technology. J Mem Sci. 297(2007): 16-50.

Templin T., Johnston D., Singh V., Tumbleson M.E., Belyea R.L. Rausch K.D. Membrane separation of solids
from corn processing streams. Biores Tech. 97(2006): 1536-1545.

Ripperger S., Schulz G. Microporous membranes in biotechnical applications. Bioprocess Eng. 1(1986): 43-

Thomas Melin, Robert Rautenbach, Membranverfahren, Springer, Germany, 2007, ISBN 3-540-00071-2.

Munir Cheryan, Handbuch Ultraltration, Behr, 1990, ISBN 3-925673-87-3.

Eberhard Staude, Membranen und Membranprozesse, VCH, 1992, ISBN 3-527-28041-3.

4.2 Electrodialysis reversal

Electrodialysis reversal (EDR) is an electrodialysis reversal water desalination membrane process that has been
commercially used since the early 1960s.[1] An electric current migrates dissolved salt ions, including uorides,
nitrates and sulfates, through an electrodialysis stack consisting of alternating layers of cationic and anionic ion ex-
change membranes. Periodically, the direction of ion ow is reversed by reversing the polarity of the applied electric

4.2.1 See also

Reversed electrodialysis (RED)

Osmotic power

4.2.2 References
[1] Katz, William E. (January 1979). The electrodialysis reversal (EDR) process. Desalination. 28 (1): 3140. doi:10.1016/S0011-
9164(00)88124-2. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

4.2.3 External links

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Technical Manual

Article: Water issues prompt new look at desalination

4.3 Reverse osmosis

For the University of Southern California a cappella group, see Reverse Osmosis (group).

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purication technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions,
molecules, and larger particles from drinking water. In reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome
osmotic pressure, a colligative property, that is driven by chemical potential dierences of the solvent, a thermodynamic
parameter. Reverse osmosis can remove many types of dissolved and suspended species from water, including bac-
teria, and is used in both industrial processes and the production of potable water. The result is that the solute is
retained on the pressurized side of the membrane and the pure solvent is allowed to pass to the other side. To be se-
lective, this membrane should not allow large molecules or ions through the pores (holes), but should allow smaller
components of the solution (such as solvent molecules) to pass freely.
In the normal osmosis process, the solvent naturally moves from an area of low solute concentration (high water
potential), through a membrane, to an area of high solute concentration (low water potential). The driving force
for the movement of the solvent is the reduction in the free energy of the system when the dierence in solvent
concentration on either side of a membrane is reduced, generating osmotic pressure due to the solvent moving into
the more concentrated solution. Applying an external pressure to reverse the natural ow of pure solvent, thus,
is reverse osmosis. The process is similar to other membrane technology applications. However, key dierences
are found between reverse osmosis and ltration. The predominant removal mechanism in membrane ltration is
straining, or size exclusion, so the process can theoretically achieve perfect eciency regardless of parameters such
as the solutions pressure and concentration. Reverse osmosis also involves diusion, making the process dependent
on pressure, ow rate, and other conditions.[1] Reverse osmosis is most commonly known for its use in drinking water
purication from seawater, removing the salt and other euent materials from the water molecules.

4.3.1 History

The process of osmosis through semipermeable membranes was rst observed in 1748 by Jean-Antoine Nollet. For
the following 200 years, osmosis was only a phenomenon observed in the laboratory. In 1950, the University of
California at Los Angeles rst investigated desalination of seawater using semipermeable membranes. Researchers
from both University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Florida successfully produced fresh water
from seawater in the mid-1950s, but the ux was too low to be commercially viable[2] until the discovery at University
of California at Los Angeles by Sidney Loeb[3] and Srinivasa Sourirajan at the National Research Council of Canada,
Ottawa, of techniques for making asymmetric membranes characterized by an eectively thin skin layer supported
atop a highly porous and much thicker substrate region of the membrane. John Cadotte, of FilmTec Corporation,
discovered that membranes with particularly high ux and low salt passage could be made by interfacial polymerization
of m-phenylene diamine and trimesoyl chloride. Cadottes patent on this process[4] was the subject of litigation and
has since expired. Almost all commercial reverse osmosis membrane is now made by this method. By the end of
2001, about 15,200 desalination plants were in operation or in the planning stages, worldwide.[1]

Reverse osmosis production train, North Cape Coral Reverse Osmosis Plant

In 1977 Cape Coral, Florida became the rst municipality in the United States to use the RO process on a large
scale with an initial operating capacity of 3 million gallons (11350 m) per day. By 1985, due to the rapid growth
in population of Cape Coral, the city had the largest low pressure reverse osmosis plant in the world, capable of
producing 15 million gallons per day (MGD) (56800 m/d).[5]

4.3.2 Process

Osmosis is a natural process. When two solutions with dierent concentrations of a solute are separated by a semiper-
meable membrane, the solvent has a tendency to move from low to high solute concentrations for chemical potential
Formally, reverse osmosis is the process of forcing a solvent from a region of high solute concentration through
a semipermeable membrane to a region of low solute concentration by applying a pressure in excess of the osmotic

A semipermeable membrane coil used in desalination

pressure. The largest and most important application of reverse osmosis is the separation of pure water from seawater
and brackish waters; seawater or brackish water is pressurized against one surface of the membrane, causing transport
of salt-depleted water across the membrane and emergence of potable drinking water from the low-pressure side.
The membranes used for reverse osmosis have a dense layer in the polymer matrixeither the skin of an asymmetric
membrane or an interfacially polymerized layer within a thin-lm-composite membranewhere the separation oc-
curs. In most cases, the membrane is designed to allow only water to pass through this dense layer, while preventing
the passage of solutes (such as salt ions). This process requires that a high pressure be exerted on the high concen-
tration side of the membrane, usually 217 bar (30250 psi) for fresh and brackish water, and 4082 bar (6001200
psi) for seawater, which has around 27 bar (390 psi)[6] natural osmotic pressure that must be overcome. This process
is best known for its use in desalination (removing the salt and other minerals from sea water to get fresh water), but
since the early 1970s, it has also been used to purify fresh water for medical, industrial, and domestic applications.

4.3.3 Fresh water applications

Drinking water purication

The reverse osmosis water lter process

Around the world, household drinking water purication systems, including a reverse osmosis step, are commonly
used for improving water for drinking and cooking.
Such systems typically include a number of steps:

a sediment lter to trap particles, including rust and calcium carbonate

optionally, a second sediment lter with smaller pores

an activated carbon lter to trap organic chemicals and chlorine, which will attack and degrade thin lm com-
posite membrane reverse osmosis membranes

a reverse osmosis lter, which is a thin lm composite membrane

optionally, a second carbon lter to capture those chemicals not removed by the reverse osmosis membrane

optionally an ultraviolet lamp for sterilizing any microbes that may escape ltering by the reverse osmosis

The latest developments in the sphere include nano materials and membranes.
In some systems, the carbon prelter is omitted, and a cellulose triacetate membrane is used. CTA (cellulose tri-
acetate) is a paper by-product membrane bonded to a synthetic layer and is made to allow contact with chlorine in
the water. These require a small amount of chlorine in the water source to prevent bacteria from forming on it. The
typical rejection rate for CTA membranes is 8595%.
The cellulose triacetate membrane is prone to rotting unless protected by chlorinated water, while the thin lm com-
posite membrane is prone to breaking down under the inuence of chlorine. A thin lm composite (TFC) membrane
is made of synthetic material, and requires chlorine to be removed before the water enters the membrane. To protect
the TFC membrane elements from chlorine damage, carbon lters are used as pre-treatment in all residential reverse
osmosis systems. TFC membranes have a higher rejection rate of 9598% and a longer life than CTA membranes.
Portable reverse osmosis water processors are sold for personal water purication in various locations. To work
eectively, the water feeding to these units should be under some pressure (40 pounds per square inch (280 kPa)

or greater is the norm).[7] Portable reverse osmosis water processors can be used by people who live in rural areas
without clean water, far away from the citys water pipes. Rural people lter river or ocean water themselves, as the
device is easy to use (saline water may need special membranes). Some travelers on long boating, shing, or island
camping trips, or in countries where the local water supply is polluted or substandard, use reverse osmosis water
processors coupled with one or more ultraviolet sterilizers.
In the production of bottled mineral water, the water passes through a reverse osmosis water processor to remove
pollutants and microorganisms. In European countries, though, such processing of natural mineral water (as dened
by a European directive[8] ) is not allowed under European law. In practice, a fraction of the living bacteria can and do
pass through reverse osmosis membranes through minor imperfections, or bypass the membrane entirely through tiny
leaks in surrounding seals. Thus, complete reverse osmosis systems may include additional water treatment stages
that use ultraviolet light or ozone to prevent microbiological contamination.
Membrane pore sizes can vary from 0.1 to 5,000 nm (4109 to 2104 in) depending on lter type. Particle ltration
removes particles of 1 m (3.9105 in) or larger. Microltration removes particles of 50 nm or larger. Ultraltration
removes particles of roughly 3 nm or larger. Nanoltration removes particles of 1 nm or larger. Reverse osmosis is
in the nal category of membrane ltration, hyperltration, and removes particles larger than 0.1 nm.[9]

United States Marines from Combat Logistics Battalion 31 operate reverse osmosis water purication units for relief eorts after the
2006 Southern Leyte mudslide

Military use: the reverse osmosis water purication unit A reverse osmosis water purication unit (ROWPU)
is a portable, self-contained water treatment plant. Designed for military use, it can provide potable water from nearly
any water source. There are many models in use by the United States armed forces and the Canadian Forces. Some
models are containerized, some are trailers, and some are vehicles unto themselves.
Each branch of the United States armed forces has their own series of reverse osmosis water purication unit models,
but they are all similar. The water is pumped from its raw source into the reverse osmosis water purication unit
module, where it is treated with a polymer to initiate coagulation. Next, it is run through a multi-media lter where
it undergoes primary treatment by removing turbidity. It is then pumped through a cartridge lter which is usually
spiral-wound cotton. This process claries the water of any particles larger than 5 micrometres (0.00020 in) and
eliminates almost all turbidity.
The claried water is then fed through a high-pressure piston pump into a series of vessels where it is subject to
reverse osmosis. The product water is free of 90.0099.98% of the raw waters total dissolved solids and by military

standards, should have no more than 10001500 parts per million by measure of electrical conductivity. It is then
disinfected with chlorine and stored for later use.
Within the United States Marine Corps, the reverse osmosis water purication unit has been replaced by both the
Lightweight Water Purication System and Tactical Water Purication Systems.[10] The Lightweight Water Purica-
tion Systems can be transported by Humvee and lter 125 US gallons (470 l) per hour. The Tactical Water Purication
Systems can be carried on a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement truck, and can lter 1,200 to 1,500 US gallons
(4,500 to 5,700 l) per hour.

Water and wastewater purication

Rain water collected from storm drains is puried with reverse osmosis water processors and used for landscape
irrigation and industrial cooling in Los Angeles and other cities, as a solution to the problem of water shortages.
In industry, reverse osmosis removes minerals from boiler water at power plants.[11] The water is distilled multiple
times. It must be as pure as possible so it does not leave deposits on the machinery or cause corrosion. The deposits
inside or outside the boiler tubes may result in underperformance of the boiler, bringing down its eciency and
resulting in poor steam production, hence poor power production at the turbine.
It is also used to clean euent and brackish groundwater. The euent in larger volumes (more than 500 m3 /d)
should be treated in an euent treatment plant rst, and then the clear euent is subjected to reverse osmosis system.
Treatment cost is reduced signicantly and membrane life of the reverse osmosis system is increased.
The process of reverse osmosis can be used for the production of deionized water.[12]
Reverse osmosis process for water purication does not require thermal energy. Flow-through reverse osmosis systems
can be regulated by high-pressure pumps. The recovery of puried water depends upon various factors, including
membrane sizes, membrane pore size, temperature, operating pressure, and membrane surface area.
In 2002, Singapore announced that a process named NEWater would be a signicant part of its future water plans.[13] It
involves using reverse osmosis to treat domestic wastewater before discharging the NEWater back into the reservoirs.

Food industry

In addition to desalination, reverse osmosis is a more economical operation for concentrating food liquids (such as
fruit juices) than conventional heat-treatment processes. Research has been done on concentration of orange juice
and tomato juice. Its advantages include a lower operating cost and the ability to avoid heat-treatment processes,
which makes it suitable for heat-sensitive substances such as the protein and enzymes found in most food products.
Reverse osmosis is extensively used in the dairy industry for the production of whey protein powders and for the
concentration of milk to reduce shipping costs. In whey applications, the whey (liquid remaining after cheese man-
ufacture) is concentrated with reverse osmosis from 6% total solids to 1020% total solids before ultraltration
processing. The ultraltration retentate can then be used to make various whey powders, including whey protein
isolate. Additionally, the ultraltration permeate, which contains lactose, is concentrated by reverse osmosis from
5% total solids to 1822% total solids to reduce crystallization and drying costs of the lactose powder.
Although use of the process was once avoided in the wine industry, it is now widely understood and used. An
estimated 60 reverse osmosis machines were in use in Bordeaux, France, in 2002. Known users include many of the
elite classed growths (Kramer) such as Chteau Loville-Las Cases in Bordeaux.[14]

Maple syrup production

In 1946, some maple syrup producers started using reverse osmosis to remove water from sap before the sap is boiled
down to syrup. The use of reverse osmosis allows about 7590% of the water to be removed from the sap, reducing
energy consumption and exposure of the syrup to high temperatures. Microbial contamination and degradation of
the membranes must be monitored.

Hydrogen production

For small-scale hydrogen production, reverse osmosis is sometimes used to prevent formation of minerals on the
surface of electrodes.

Reef aquariums

Many reef aquarium keepers use reverse osmosis systems for their articial mixture of seawater. Ordinary tap water
can contain excessive chlorine, chloramines, copper, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, silicates, or many other chemi-
cals detrimental to the sensitive organisms in a reef environment. Contaminants such as nitrogen compounds and
phosphates can lead to excessive and unwanted algae growth. An eective combination of both reverse osmosis
and deionization is the most popular among reef aquarium keepers, and is preferred above other water purication
processes due to the low cost of ownership and minimal operating costs. Where chlorine and chloramines are found
in the water, carbon ltration is needed before the membrane, as the common residential membrane used by reef
keepers does not cope with these compounds.

Window cleaning

An increasingly popular method of cleaning windows is the so-called water-fed pole system. Instead of washing the
windows with detergent in the conventional way, they are scrubbed with highly puried water, typically containing
less than 10 ppm dissolved solids, using a brush on the end of a long pole which is wielded from ground level. Reverse
osmosis is commonly used to purify the water.[15]

4.3.4 Landll leachate purication

Treatment with reverse osmosis is limited, resulting in low recoveries on high concentration (measured with electrical
conductivity) and fouling of the RO membranes. Reverse osmosis applicability is limited by conductivity, organics,
and scaling inorganic elements such as CaSO4, Si, Fe and Ba. Low organic scaling can be used two dierent technol-
ogy, one is using spiral wound membrane type of module, and for high organic scaling, high conductivity and higher
pressure (up to 90 bars) can be used disc tube module with reverse osmosis membranes. Disc tube modules was
redesigned for landll leachate purication, what usually is contaminated with high organics. Due to the cross-ow
with high velocity is given by a ow booster pump, what is recirculating the ow over the same membrane surface
between 1,5 and 3 times before is released as a concentrate. High velocity is also good against membrane scaling and
allows successful membrane cleanings.

Power consumption for a disc tube module system

Disc tube module with RO membrane cushion and Spiral wound module with RO membrane

4.3.5 Desalination
Areas that have either no or limited surface water or groundwater may choose to desalinate. Reverse osmosis is an
increasingly common method of desalination, because of its relatively low energy consumption. In recent years, energy
consumption has dropped to around 3 kWh/m3 , with the development of more ecient energy recovery devices and

improved membrane materials. According to the International Desalination Association, for 2011, reverse osmosis
was used in 66% of installed desalination capacity (44.5 of 67.4 Mm3 /day), and nearly all new plants.[16] Other plants
mainly use thermal distillation methods: multiple-eect distillation and multi-stage ash.
Sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination, a membrane process, has been commercially used since the early
1970s. Its rst practical use was demonstrated by Sidney Loeb from University of California at Los Angeles in
Coalinga, California, and Srinivasa Sourirajan of National Research council, Canada. Because no heating or phase
changes are needed, energy requirements are low, around 3 kWh/m3 , in comparison to other processes of desalination,
but are still much higher than those required for other forms of water supply, including reverse osmosis treatment
of wastewater, at 0.1 to 1 kWh/m3 . Up to 50% of the seawater input can be recovered as fresh water, though lower
recoveries may reduce membrane fouling and energy consumption.
Brackish water reverse osmosis refers to desalination of water with a lower salt content than sea water, usually from
river estuaries or saline wells. The process is substantially the same as sea water reverse osmosis, but requires lower
pressures and therefore less energy. Up to 80% of the feed water input can be recovered as fresh water, depending
on feed salinity.
The Ashkelon sea water reverse osmosis desalination plant in Israel is the largest in the world.[17][18] The project was
developed as a build-operate-transfer by a consortium of three international companies: Veolia water, IDE Tech-
nologies, and Elran.[19]
The typical single-pass sea water reverse osmosis system consists of:



High pressure pump (if not combined with energy recovery)

Membrane assembly

Energy recovery (if used)

Remineralisation and pH adjustment


Alarm/control panel


Pretreatment is important when working with reverse osmosis and nanoltration membranes due to the nature of their
spiral-wound design. The material is engineered in such a fashion as to allow only one-way ow through the system.
As such, the spiral-wound design does not allow for backpulsing with water or air agitation to scour its surface and
remove solids. Since accumulated material cannot be removed from the membrane surface systems, they are highly
susceptible to fouling (loss of production capacity). Therefore, pretreatment is a necessity for any reverse osmosis or
nanoltration system. Pretreatment in sea water reverse osmosis systems has four major components:

Screening of solids: Solids within the water must be removed and the water treated to prevent fouling of
the membranes by ne particle or biological growth, and reduce the risk of damage to high-pressure pump

Cartridge ltration: Generally, string-wound polypropylene lters are used to remove particles of 15 m

Dosing: Oxidizing biocides, such as chlorine, are added to kill bacteria, followed by bisulte dosing to deac-
tivate the chlorine, which can destroy a thin-lm composite membrane. There are also biofouling inhibitors,
which do not kill bacteria, but simply prevent them from growing slime on the membrane surface and plant

Preltration pH adjustment: If the pH, hardness and the alkalinity in the feedwater result in a scaling tendency
when they are concentrated in the reject stream, acid is dosed to maintain carbonates in their soluble carbonic
acid form.

CO3 2 + H3 O+ = HCO3 + H2 O
HCO3 + H3 O+ = H2 CO3 + H2 O

Carbonic acid cannot combine with calcium to form calcium carbonate scale. Calcium carbonate scaling
tendency is estimated using the Langelier saturation index. Adding too much sulfuric acid to control carbonate
scales may result in calcium sulfate, barium sulfate, or strontium sulfate scale formation on the reverse osmosis

Preltration antiscalants: Scale inhibitors (also known as antiscalants) prevent formation of all scales compared
to acid, which can only prevent formation of calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate scales. In addition to
inhibiting carbonate and phosphate scales, antiscalants inhibit sulfate and uoride scales and disperse colloids
and metal oxides. Despite claims that antiscalants can inhibit silica formation, no concrete evidence proves that
silica polymerization can be inhibited by antiscalants. Antiscalants can control acid-soluble scales at a fraction
of the dosage required to control the same scale using sulfuric acid.[20]

Some small scale desalination units use 'beach wells; they are usually drilled on the seashore in close vicinity
to the ocean. These intake facilities are relatively simple to build and the seawater they collect is pretreated
via slow ltration through the subsurface sand/seabed formations in the area of source water extraction. Raw
seawater collected using beach wells is often of better quality in terms of solids, silt, oil and grease, natural
organic contamination and aquatic microorganisms, compared to open seawater intakes. Sometimes, beach
intakes may also yield source water of lower salinity.

High pressure pump

The high pressure pump supplies the pressure needed to push water through the membrane, even as the membrane
rejects the passage of salt through it. Typical pressures for brackish water range from 225 to 376 psi (15.5 to 26 bar,
or 1.6 to 2.6 MPa). In the case of seawater, they range from 800 to 1,180 psi (55 to 81.5 bar or 6 to 8 MPa). This
requires a large amount of energy. Where energy recovery is used, part of the high pressure pumps work is done by
the energy recovery device, reducing the system energy inputs.

Membrane assembly

The membrane assembly consists of a pressure vessel with a membrane that allows feedwater to be pressed against
it. The membrane must be strong enough to withstand whatever pressure is applied against it. Reverse osmosis
membranes are made in a variety of congurations, with the two most common congurations being spiral-wound
and hollow-ber.
Only a part of the saline feed water pumped into the membrane assembly passes through the membrane with the
salt removed. The remaining concentrate ow passes along the saline side of the membrane to ush away the
concentrated salt solution. The percentage of desalinated water produced versus the saline water feed ow is known
as the recovery ratio. This varies with the salinity of the feed water and the system design parameters: typically
20% for small seawater systems, 40% 50% for larger seawater systems, and 80% 85% for brackish water. The
concentrate ow is at typically only 3 bar / 50 psi less than the feed pressure, and thus still carries much of the high
pressure pump input energy.
The desalinated water purity is a function of the feed water salinity, membrane selection and recovery ratio. To
achieve higher purity a second pass can be added which generally requires re-pumping. Purity expressed as total
dissolved solids typically varies from 100 to 400 parts per million (ppm or milligram/litre)on a seawater feed. A level
of 500 ppm is generally accepted as the upper limit for drinking water, while the US Food and Drug Administration
classies mineral water as water containing at least 250 ppm.

Energy recovery

Energy recovery can reduce energy consumption by 50% or more. Much of the high pressure pump input energy can
be recovered from the concentrate ow, and the increasing eciency of energy recovery devices has greatly reduced
the energy needs of reverse osmosis desalination. Devices used, in order of invention, are:

The layers of a membrane

Turbine or Pelton wheel: a water turbine driven by the concentrate ow, connected to the high pressure pump
drive shaft to provide part of its input power. Positive displacement axial piston motors have also been used in
place of turbines on smaller systems.
Turbocharger: a water turbine driven by the concentrate ow, directly connected to a centrifugal pump which
boosts the high pressure pump output pressure, reducing the pressure needed from the high pressure pump and
thereby its energy input, similar in construction principle to car engine turbochargers.

Pressure exchanger: using the pressurized concentrate ow, in direct contact or via a piston, to pressurize
part of the membrane feed ow to near concentrate ow pressure. A boost pump then raises this pressure by
typically 3 bar / 50 psi to the membrane feed pressure. This reduces ow needed from the high-pressure pump
by an amount equal to the concentrate ow, typically 60%, and thereby its energy input. These are widely used
on larger low-energy systems. They are capable of 3 kWh/m3 or less energy consumption.

Energy recovery pump: a reciprocating piston pump having the pressurized concentrate ow applied to one
side of each piston to help drive the membrane feed ow from the opposite side. These are the simplest energy
recovery devices to apply, combining the high pressure pump and energy recovery in a single self-regulating
unit. These are widely used on smaller low-energy systems. They are capable of 3 kWh/m3 or less energy

Remineralisation and pH adjustment

The desalinated water is stabilized to protect downstream pipelines and storage, usually by adding lime or caustic
soda to prevent corrosion of concrete-lined surfaces. Liming material is used to adjust pH between 6.8 and 8.1 to


4 C


D 5

Schematics of a reverse osmosis desalination system using a pressure exchanger.

1: Sea water inow,
2: Fresh water ow (40%),
3: Concentrate ow (60%),
4: Sea water ow (60%),
5: Concentrate (drain),
A: Pump ow (40%),
B: Circulation pump,
C: Osmosis unit with membrane,
D: Pressure exchanger

Schematic of a reverse osmosis desalination system using an energy recovery pump.

1: Sea water inow (100%, 1 bar),
2: Sea water ow (100%, 50 bar),
3: Concentrate ow (60%, 48 bar),
4: Fresh water ow (40%, 1 bar),
5: Concentrate to drain (60%,1 bar),
A: Pressure recovery pump,
B: Osmosis unit with membrane

meet the potable water specications, primarily for eective disinfection and for corrosion control. Remineralisation
may be needed to replace minerals removed from the water by desalination. Although this process has proved to
be costly and not very convenient if it is intended to meet mineral demand by humans and plants. The very same
mineral demand that freshwater sources provided previously. For instance water from Israels national water carrier
typically contains dissolved magnesium levels of 20 to 25 mg/liter, while water from the Ashkelon plant has no
magnesium. After farmers used this water, magnesium deciency symptoms appeared in crops, including tomatoes,
basil, and owers, and had to be remedied by fertilization. Current Israeli drinking water standards set a minimum
calcium level of 20 mg/liter. The postdesalination treatment in the Ashkelon plant uses sulfuric acid to dissolve calcite
(limestone), resulting in calcium concentration of 40 to 46 mg/liter. This is still lower than the 45 to 60 mg/liter found
in typical Israeli freshwaters.[21]


Post-treatment consists of preparing the water for distribution after ltration. Reverse osmosis is an eective barrier
to pathogens, but post-treatment provides secondary protection against compromised membranes and downstream
problems. Disinfection by means of ultra violet (UV) lamps (sometimes called germicidal or bactericidal) may be
employed to sterilize pathogens which bypassed the reverse osmosis process. Chlorination or chloramination (chlorine
and ammonia) protects against pathogens which may have lodged in the distribution system downstream, such as from
new construction, backwash, compromised pipes, etc.[22]

4.3.6 Disadvantages

Household reverse osmosis units use a lot of water because they have low back pressure. As a result, they recover only
5 to 15% of the water entering the system. The remainder is discharged as waste water. Because waste water carries
with it the rejected contaminants, methods to recover this water are not practical for household systems. Wastewater
is typically connected to the house drains and will add to the load on the household septic system. A reverse osmosis
unit delivering ve gallons (19 L) of treated water per day may discharge between 20 and 90 gallons (75340 L) of
waste water per day.[23] This is having disastrous consequence for mega cities like Delhi where large-scale use of
household R.O. devices has increased the total water demand of the already water parched National Capital Territory
of India.[24]
Large-scale industrial/municipal systems recover typically 75% to 80% of the feed water, or as high as 90%, because
they can generate the high pressure needed for higher recovery reverse osmosis ltration. On the other hand, as
recovery of wastewater increases in commercial operations, eective contaminant removal rates tend to become
reduced, as evidenced by product water total dissolved solids levels.
Due to its ne membrane construction, reverse osmosis not only removes harmful contaminants present in the water,
but it also may remove many of the desirable minerals from the water. A number of peer-reviewed studies have
looked at the long-term health eects of drinking demineralized water.[25]

Waste stream considerations

Depending upon the desired product, either the solvent or solute stream of reverse osmosis will be waste. For food
concentration applications, the concentrated solute stream is the product and the solvent stream is waste. For water
treatment applications, the solvent stream is puried water and the solute stream is concentrated waste.[26] The solvent
waste stream from food processing may be used as reclaimed water, but there may be fewer options for disposal
of a concentrated waste solute stream. Ships may use marine dumping and coastal desalination plants typically use
marine outfalls. Landlocked reverse osmosis plants may require evaporation ponds or injection wells to avoid polluting
groundwater or surface runo.[27]

4.3.7 New developments

Since the 1970s, preltration of high-fouling waters with another larger-pore membrane, with less hydraulic en-
ergy requirement, has been evaluated and sometimes used. However, this means that the water passes through two
membranes and is often repressurized, which requires more energy to be put into the system, and thus increases the

Other recent developmental work has focused on integrating reverse osmosis with electrodialysis to improve recovery
of valuable deionized products, or to minimize the volume of concentrate requiring discharge or disposal.
In the production of drinking water, the latest developments include nanoscale and graphene membranes.[28]
The worlds largest RO desalination plant was built in Sorek, Israel in 2013. It has an output of 624,000 m (165
million U.S. gallons) a day.[29] It is also the cheapest and will sell water to the authorities for USD $0.58/m.[30]

4.3.8 See also

Forward osmosis
Reverse osmosis plant
Silt density index
Salinity gradient
Milli-Q water
Water pollution
Water quality

4.3.9 References
[1] Crittenden, John; Trussell, Rhodes; Hand, David; Howe, Kerry and Tchobanoglous, George (2005). Water Treatment
Principles and Design, Edition 2. John Wiley and Sons. New Jersey. ISBN 0-471-11018-3

[2] Glater, J. (1998). The early history of reverse osmosis membrane development. Desalination. 117: 297309. doi:10.1016/S0011-

[3] Weintraub, Bob (December 2001). Sidney Loeb, Co-Inventor of Practical Reverse Osmosis. Bulletin of the Israel Chem-
ical Society (8): 89.

[4] Cadotte, John E. (1981) Interfacially synthesized reverse osmosis membrane U.S. Patent 4,277,344

[5] 2012 Annual Consumer Report on the Quality of Tap Water. City of Cape Coral

[6] Lachish, Uri. Optimizing the Eciency of Reverse Osmosis Seawater Desalination.

[7] Knorr, Erik Voigt, Henry Jaeger, Dietrich (2012). Securing Safe Water Supplies : comparison of applicable technologies
(Online-Ausg. ed.). Oxford: Academic Press. p. 33. ISBN 0124058868.

[8] Council Directive of 15 July 1980 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the exploitation and
marketing of natural mineral waters. eur-lex.europa.eu

[9] "Purication of Contaminated Water with Reverse Osmosis" ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certied Journal, Volume
3, Issue 12, December 2013

[10] Fuentes, Gidget (Nov 5, 2010). Corps plan for clean water downrange. Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 8 November

[11] Shah, edited by Vishal (2008). Emerging Environmental Technologies. Dordrecht: Springer Science. p. 108. ISBN

[12] Grabowski, Andrej (2010). Electromembrane desalination processes for production of low conductivity water. Berlin:
Logos-Verl. ISBN 3832527141.

[13] Jollibee, Merci (29 September 2015). History Of Reverse Osmosis System.

[14] Reverse Osmosis in wine ltration. Retrieved 2015-09-03.


[15] Government versus Gravity. Retrieved 2013-06-24.

[16] International Desalination Association Yearbook 201213

[17] Israel is No. 5 on Top 10 Cleantech List in Israel 21c A Focus Beyond Retrieved 2009-12-21

[18] Desalination Plant Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) Plant. Water-technology.net

[19] Sauvetgoichon, B (2007). Ashkelon desalination plant A successful challenge. Desalination. 203: 7581. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2006.03.525.

[20] Malki, M. (2008). Optimizing scale inhibition costs in reverse osmosis desalination plants (PDF). International Desali-
nation and Water Reuse Quarterly. 17 (4): 2829.

[21] Ben, Forth (14 January 2014). An introduction and reviews for Reverse Osmosis Filter Systems. Industry Magazine.
Retrieved 26 June 2016.

[22] Sekar, Chandru. IEEE R10 HTA Portable Autonomous Water Purication System. IEEE. Retrieved 4 March 2015.

[23] Treatment Systems for Household Water Supplies. Ag.ndsu.edu. Retrieved on 2011-06-19.

[24] Singh, Govind (2017). Implication of Household Use of R.O. Devices for Delhis Urban Water Scenario. Journal of
Innovation for Inclusive Development. 2(1): 2429.

[25] Health risks from drinking demineralised water

[26] Weber, Walter J. (1972). Physicochemical Processes for Water Quality Control. New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 320.
ISBN 0-471-92435-0.

[27] Hammer, Mark J. (1975). Water and Waste-Water Technology. New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 266. ISBN 0-471-

[28] Zhu, Chongqin; Li, Hui; Zeng, Xiao Cheng; Wang, E. G.; Meng, Sheng (2013). Quantized Water Transport: Ideal
Desalination through Graphyne-4 Membrane. Scientic Reports. 3. arXiv:1307.0208 . doi:10.1038/srep03163. PMC
3819615 . PMID 24196437.

[29] Next Big Future: Israel scales up Reverse Osmosis Desalination to slash costs with a fourth of the piping. nextbigfu-
ture.com. 19 February 2015.

[30] Talbot, David. Megascale Desalination. technologyreview.com.

4.3.10 Sources
Metcalf; Eddy (1972). Wastewater Engineering. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

4.4 Nanoltration
Nanoltration is a relatively recent membrane ltration process used most often with low total dissolved solids water
such as surface water and fresh groundwater, with the purpose of softening (polyvalent cation removal) and removal
of disinfection by-product precursors such as natural organic matter and synthetic organic matter. [1] [2]
Nanoltration is also becoming more widely used in food processing applications such as dairy, for simultaneous
concentration and partial (monovalent ion) demineralisation.

4.4.1 General
Nanoltration is a membrane ltration-based method that uses nanometer sized cylindrical through-pores that pass
through the membrane at 90. Nanoltration membranes have pore sizes from 1-10 nanometers, smaller than that used
in microltration and ultraltration, but just larger than that in reverse osmosis. Membranes used are predominantly
created from polymer thin lms. Materials that are commonly used include polyethylene terephthalate or metals such
as aluminum.[3] Pore dimensions are controlled by pH, temperature and time during development with pore densities
ranging from 1 to 106 pores per cm2 . Membranes made from polyethylene terephthalate and other similar materials,
are referred to as track-etch membranes, named after the way the pores on the membranes are made.[4] Tracking
involves bombarding the polymer thin lm with high energy particles. This results in making tracks that are chemically

developed into the membrane, or etched into the membrane, which are the pores. Membranes created from metal
such as alumina membranes, are made by electrochemically growing a thin layer of aluminum oxide from aluminum
metal in an acidic medium.

4.4.2 Range of applications

Historically, nanoltration and other membrane technology used for molecular separation was applied entirely on
aqueous systems. The original uses for nanoltration were water treatment and in particular water softening. Nanol-
ters can soften water by retaining scale-forming, hydrated divalent ions (e.g. Ca2+ , Mg2+ ) while passing smaller
hydrated monovalent ions .[5] [6]
In recent years, the use of nanoltration has been extended into other industries such as milk and juice production.
Research and development in solvent-stable membranes has allowed the application for nanoltration membranes to
extend into new areas such as pharmaceuticals, ne chemicals, and avour and fragrance industries.[5] Development
in organic solvent nanoltration technology and commercialization of membranes used has extended possibilities for
applications in a variety of organic solvents ranging from non-polar through polar to polar aprotic.

4.4.3 Advantages and disadvantages

One of the main advantages of nanoltration as a method of softening water is that during the process of retaining
calcium and magnesium ions while passing smaller hydrated monovalent ions, ltration is performed without adding
extra sodium ions, as used in ion exchangers.[7] Many separation processes do not operate at room temperature (e.g.
distillation), which greatly increases the cost of the process when continuous heating or cooling is applied. Performing
gentle molecular separation is linked with nanoltration that is often not included with other forms of separation
processes (centrifugation). These are two of the main benets that are associated with nanoltration. Nanoltration
has a very favorable benet of being able to process large volumes and continuously produce streams of products. Still,
Nanoltration is the least used method of membrane ltration in industry as the membrane pores sizes are limited
to only a few nanometers. Anything smaller, reverse osmosis is used and anything larger is used for ultraltration.
Ultraltration can also be used in cases where nanoltration can be used, due to it being more conventional. A main
disadvantage associated with nanotechnology, as with all membrane lter technology, is the cost and maintenance of
the membranes used.[8] Nanoltration membranes are an expensive part of the process. Repairs and replacement of
membranes is dependent on total dissolved solids, ow rate and components of the feed. With nanoltration being
used across various industries, only an estimation of replacement frequency can be used. This causes nanolters to
be replaced a short time before or after their prime usage is complete.

4.4.4 Design and operation

Industrial applications of membranes require hundreds to thousands of square meters of membranes and therefore an
ecient way to reduce the footprint by packing them is required. Membranes rst became commercially viable when
low cost methods of housing in modules were achieved.[9] Membranes are not self-supporting. They need to be stayed
by a porous support that can withstand the pressures required to operate the NF membrane without hindering the
performance of the membrane. To do this eectively, the module needs to provide a channel to remove the membrane
permeation and provide appropriate ow condition that reduces the phenomena of concentration polarisation. A good
design minimises pressure losses on both the feed side and permeate side and thus energy requirements. Leakage of
the feed into the permeate stream must also be prevented. This can be done through either the use of permanent seals
such as glue or replaceable seals such as O-rings.[10]

Concentration Polarisation

Concentration polarisation describes the accumulation of the species being retained close to the surface of the mem-
brane which reduces separation capabilities. It occurs because the particles are convected towards the membrane
with the solvent and its magnitude is the balance between this convection caused by solvent ux and the particle
transport away from the membrane due to the concentration gradient (predominantly caused by diusion.) Although
concentration polarisation is easily reversible, it can lead to fouling of the membrane.[10][11]

Spiral Wound Module

Spiral wound modules are the most commonly used style of module and are standardized design, available in a
range of standard diameters (2.5, 4 and 8) to t standard pressure vessel that can hold several modules in series
connected by O-rings. The module uses at sheets wrapped around a central tube. The membranes are glued along
three edges over a permeate spacer to form leaves. The permeate spacer supports the membrane and conducts the
permeate to the central permeate tube. Between each leaf, a mesh like feed spacer is inserted.[11][12] The reason for
the mesh like dimension of the spacer is to provide a hydrodynamic environment near the surface of the membrane
that discourages concentration polarisation. Once the leaves have been wound around the central tube, the module is
wrapped in a casing layer and caps placed on the end of the cylinder to prevent telescoping that can occur in high
ow rate and pressure conditions.

Tubular Module

Tubular modules look similar to shell and tube heat exchangers with bundles of tubes with the active surface of the
membrane on the inside. Flow through the tubes is normally turbulent, ensuring low concentration polarisation but
also increasing energy costs. The tubes can either be self-supporting or supported by insertion into perforated metal
tubes. This module design is limited for nanoltration by the pressure they can withstand before bursting, limiting
the maximum ux possible.[9][10] Due to both the high energy operating costs of turbulent ow and the limiting burst
pressure, tubular modules are more suited to dirty applications where feeds have particulates such as ltering raw
water to gain potable water in the Fyne process. The membranes can be easily cleaned through a pigging technique
with foam balls are squeezed through the tubes, scouring the caked deposits.[13]

Flux Enhancing Strategies

These strategies work to reduce the magnitude of concentration polarisation and fouling. There is a range of tech-
niques available however the most common is feed channel spacers as described in spiral wound modules. All of the
strategies work by increasing eddies and generating a high shear in the ow near the membrane surface. Some of
these strategies include vibrating the membrane, rotating the membrane, having a rotor disk above the membrane,
pulsing the feed ow rate and introducing gas bubbling close to the surface of the membrane.[10][11][12]

4.4.5 Characterisation

Many dierent factors must be taken into account in the design of NF membranes, since they vary so much in material,
separation mechanisms, morphology and thus application. Two important parameters should be investigated during
preliminary calculations, performance and morphology parameters.

Performance Parameters

Retention of both charged and uncharged solutes and permeation measurements can be categorised into performance
parameters since the performance under natural conditions of a membrane is based on the ratio of solute retained/
permeated through the membrane.
For charged solutes, the ionic distribution of salts near the membrane-solution interface plays an important role in
determining the retention characteristic of a membrane. If the charge of the membrane and the composition and
concentration of the solution to be ltered is known, the distribution of various salts can be found. This in turn
can be combined with the known charge of the membrane and the GibbsDonnan eect to predict the retention
characteristics for that membrane.[10]
Uncharged solutes cannot be characterised simply by Molecular Weight Cut O (MWCO,) although in general an
increase in molecular weight or solute size leads to an increase in retention. The chemical structure, functional end-
groups as well as pH of the solute, all play an important role in determining the retention characteristics and as such
detailed information about the solute molecule characteristics must be known before implementing a NF design.

Morphology Parameters

The morphology of a membrane must also be known in order to implement a successful design of a NF system, and
this is usually done by microscopy. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is one method used to characterise the surface
roughness of a membrane by passing a small sharp tip (<100 ) across the surface of a membrane and measuring the
resulting Van der Waals force between the atoms in the end of the tip and the surface.[10] This is useful as a direct
correlation between surface roughness and colloidal fouling has been developed. Correlations also exist between
fouling and other morphology parameters, such as hydrophobe, showing that the more hydrophobic a membrane is,
the less prone to fouling it is. See membrane fouling for more information.
Methods to determine the porosity of porous membranes have also been found via permporometry, making use of
diering vapour pressures to characterise the pore size and pore size distribution within the membrane. Initially
all pores in the membrane are completely lled with a liquid and as such no permeation of a gas occurs, but after
reducing the relative vapour pressure some gaps will start to form within the pores as dictated by the Kelvin equation.
Polymeric (non-porous) membranes cannot be subjected to this methodology as the condensable vapour should have
a negligible interaction within the membrane.[10]

4.4.6 Typical gures for industrial applications

Keeping in mind that NF is usually part of a composite system for purication, a single unit is chosen based o
the design specications for the NF unit. For drinking water purication many commercial membranes exist, com-
ing from dierent chemical families, having dierent structures, chemical tolerances and salt rejections and so the
characterisation must be chosen based on the chemical composition and concentration of the feed stream.
NF units in drinking water purication range from extremely low salt rejection (<5% in 1001A membranes) to almost
complete rejection (99% in 8040-TS80-TSA membranes.) Flow rates range from 2560 m3 /day for each unit, so
commercial ltration requires multiple NF units in parallel to process large quantities of feed water. The pressures
required in these units are generally between 4.5-7.5 bar.[10]
For seawater desalination using a NF-RO system a typical process is shown below.

Because of the fact that NF permeate is rarely clean enough to be used as the nal product for drinking water and
other water purication, is it commonly used as a pre treatment step for reverse osmosis (RO)[8] as is shown above.

4.4.7 Post treatment

As with other membrane based separations such as ultraltration, microltration and reverse osmosis, post-treatment
of eitherpermeate or retentate ow streams (depending on the application) is a necessary stage in industrial NF

separation prior to commercial distribution of the product. The choice and order of unit operations employed in post-
treatment is dependent on water quality regulations and the design of the NF system. Typical NF water purication
post-treatment stages include aeration and disinfection & stabilisation.


A Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or bre-reinforced plastic (FRP) degasier is used to remove dissolved gases such as
carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulde from the permeate stream.[14] This is achieved by blowing air in a countercurrent
direction to the water falling through packing material in the degasier. The air eectively strips the unwanted gases
from the water.

Disinfection & Stabilisation

The permeate water from a NF separation is demineralised and may be disposed to large changes in pH, thus providing
a substantial risk of corrosion in piping and other equipment components. To increase the stability of the water,
chemical addition of alkaline solutions such as lime and caustic soda is employed. Furthermore, disinfectants such
as chlorine or chloroamine are added to the permeate, as well as phosphate or uoride corrosion inhibitors in some

4.4.8 New Developments

Contemporary research in the area of Nanoltration (NF) technology is primarily concerned with improving the per-
formance of NF membranes, minimising membrane fouling and reducing energy requirements of already existing
processes. One way in which researchers are attempting to improve NF performance more specically increase
permeate ux and lower membrane resistance is through experimentation with dierent membrane materials and
congurations. thin lm composite membranes (TFC), which consist of a number of extremely thin selective layers
interfacially polymerized over a microporous substrate, have had the most commercial success in industrial membrane
applications due to the capability of optimizing the selectivity and permeability of each individual layer.[15] Recent
research has shown that the addition of nanotechnology materials such as electrospunnanobrous membrane layers
(ENMs) to conventional TFC membranes results in an enhanced permeate ux. This has been attributed to inherent
properties of ENMs that favour ux, namely their interconnected pore structure, high porosity and low transmem-
brane pressure.[16] A recently developed membrane conguration which oers a more energy ecient alternative
to the commonly used spiral wound arrangement is the hollow bre membrane. This format has the advantage of
requiring signicantly less pre-treatment than spiral wound membranes, as solids introduced in the feed are displaced
eectively during backwash or ushing.[17] As a result, membrane fouling and pre-treatment energy costs are reduced.
Extensive research has also been conducted on the potential use of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2, titania) nanoparticles
for membrane fouling reduction. This method involves applying a nonporous coating of titania onto the membrane
surface. Internal fouling/pore blockage of the membrane is resisted due to the nonporosity of the coating, whilst the
superhydrophilic nature of titania provides resistance to surface fouling by reducing adhesion of emulsied oil on the
membrane surface.[18]

4.4.9 See also

List of nanotechnology applications
Reverse Osmosis

4.4.10 References
[1] Raymond D. Letterman (ed.)(1999). Water Quality and Treatment. 5th Ed. (New York: American Water Works Asso-
ciation and McGraw-Hill.) ISBN 0-07-001659-3.

[2] Dow Chemical Co. Nanoltration Membranes and Applications

[3] Baker, L.A.; Martin (2007). Nanotechnology in Biology and Medicine: Methods, Devices and Applications. Nanomedicine:
Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. 9: 124.

[4] Apel, P.Yu; et al. (2006). Structure of Polycarbonate Track-Etch: Origin of the Paradoxical Pore Shape. Journal of
Membrane Science. 282 (1): 339400.

[5] Rahimpour, A; et al. (2010). Preparation and Characterisation of Asymmetric Polyethersulfone and Thin-Film Composite
Polyamide Nanoltration Membranes for Water Softening. Applied Surface Science. 256 (6): 16571663. doi:10.1016/j.apsusc.2009.09.089.

[6] Labban, O.; Liu, C.; Chong, T.H.; Lienhard V, J.H. (2017). Fundamentals of low-pressure nanoltration: Membrane
characterization, modeling, and understanding the multi-ionic interactions in water softening. Journal of Membrane Sci-
ence. 521: 1832. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2016.08.062.

[7] Baker, L.A.; Martin, Choi (2006). Current Nanoscience. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. 2 (3):

[8] Mohammed, A.W.; et al. (2007). Modelling the Eects of Nanoltration Membrane Properties on System Cost Assess-
ment for Desalination Applications. Desalination. 206 (1): 215225. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2006.02.068.

[9] Baker, Richard (2004). Membrane Technology and Applications. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0470854456.

[10] Schafer, A.I (2005). Nanoltration Principles and Applications. Oxford: Elsevier. ISBN 1856174050.

[11] Wiley, D.E.; Schwinge, Fane (2004). Novel Spacer Design Improves Observed Flux. Journal of Membrane Science. 229
(1-2): 5361. ISSN 0376-7388.

[12] Schwinge, J.; Neal, P.R.; Wiley,D.E.; Fletcher, D.F.; Fane, A.G. (2004). Spiral Wound Modules and Spacers: Review
and Analysis. Journal of Membrane Science. 242 (1-2): 129153. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2003.09.031. ISSN 0376-7388.

[13] Grose, A.B.F; Smith, A.J.; Donn, A.; O'Donnell, J.; Welch, D. (1998). Supplying High Quality Drinking Water to Remote
Communities in Scotland. Desalination. 117 (1-3): 107117. doi:10.1016/s0011-9164(98)00075-7. ISSN 0011-9164.

[14] American Water Works Association (2007). Manual of Water Supply Practices in Reverse Osmosis and Nanoltration.
Denver: American Water Works Association. pp. 101102. ISBN 1583214917.

[15] Misdan, N.; Lau, W.J.; Ismail, A.F.; Matsuura, T. (2013). Formation of Thin Film Composite Nanoltration Membrane:
Eect of Polysulfone Substrate Characteristics. Desalination. 329: 918. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2013.08.021.

[16] Subramanian, S; Seeran (2012). New Direction is Nanoltration Applications- Are Nanobres the Right Materials as
Membranes in Desalination. Desalination. 308: 198. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2012.08.014.

[17] Pearce, G (2013). Nifty Nanoltration, New Developments Show Promise (26 ed.). Water World Magazine.

[18] Draevi, E.; Kouti, K.; Danani, V.; Pavlovi, D.M. (2013). Coating Layer Eect on Performance of Thin Film
Nanoltration Membrane in Removal of Organic Solutes. Separation and Purication Technology. 118: 530539.

4.4.11 External links

Project ETAP-ERN, that uses renewable energies for desalinization. (Spanish)

Nano based methods to improve water quality - Hawks Perch Technical Writing, LLC

4.5 Membrane distillation

Membrane distillation is a thermally driven separational program in which separation is enabled due to phase
change. A hydrophobic membrane displays a barrier for the liquid phase, allowing the vapour phase (e.g. water
vapour) to pass through the membranes pores. The driving force of the process is given by a partial vapour pressure
dierence commonly triggered by a temperature dierence.

REM-image of a PTFE membrane

4.5.1 Principle of membrane distillation

Capillary depression of water on a hydophobic membrane

Schematic image of the membrane distillation process


Temperature and pressure prole through the membrane considering temperature


State of the art processes that separate mass ows by a membrane, mostly use a static pressure dierence as the driving
force between the two bounding surfaces (e.g. RO), a dierence in concentration (dialysis) or an electric eld (ED).
Selectivity of a membrane is produced by, either its pore size in relation to the size of the substance to be retained,
its diusion coecient or electrical polarity. However, the selectivity of membranes used for membrane distillation
(MD) is based on the retention of liquid water with-at the same time- permeability for free water molecules and
thus, for water vapour. These membranes are made of hydrophobic synthetic material (e.g. PTFE, PVDF or PP)
and oer pores with a standard diameter between 0.1 and 0.5 m. As water has strong dipole characteristics, whilst
the membrane fabric is non-polar, the membrane material is not wetted by the liquid. Even though the pores are
considerably larger than the molecules, the liquid phase does not enter the pores because of the high water surface
tension. A convex meniscus develops into the pore. This eect is named capillary action. Amongst other factors, the
depth of impression can depend on the external pressure load on the liquid. A dimension for the inltration of the
pores by the liquid is the contact angle =180 '. As long as > 90 and accordingly ' > 0 no wetting of the
pores will take place. If the external pressure rises above the so-called wetting pressure, then = 90resulting in a
bypass of the pore. The driving force which delivers the vapour through the membrane, in order to collect it on the
permeate side as product water, is the partial water vapour pressure dierence between the two bounding surfaces.
This partial pressure dierence is the result of a temperature dierence between the two bounding surfaces. As can
be seen in the image, the membrane is charged with a hot feed ow on one side and a cooled permeate ow on the
other side. The temperature dierence through the membrane, usually between 5 and 20 K, conveys a partial pressure
dierence which ensures that the vapour developing at the membrane surface follows the pressure drop, permeating
through the pores and condensing on the cooler side.[1]

Membrane distillation techniques

Schematic DCMD arrangement

Schematic AGMD arrangement

Many dierent membrane distillation techniques exist. The basic four techniques mainly dier by the arrangement of
their distillate channel or the manner in which this channel is operated. The following technologies are most common:

Direct Contact MD (DCMD)

Air Gap MD (AGMD)

Vacuum MD (VMD)

Sweeping Gas MD (SWGMD)


Vacuum multi-eect membrane distillation (V-MEMD)

Direct-contact MD

In DCMD, both sides of the membrane are charged with liquid- hot feed water on the evaporator side and cooled
permeate on the permeate side. The condensation of the vapour passing through the membrane happens directly
inside the liquid phase at the membrane boundary surface. Since the membrane is the only barrier blocking the
mass transport, relatively high surface related permeate ows can be achieved with DCMD. A disadvantage is the
high sensible heat loss, as the insulating properties of the single membrane layer are low. However, a high heat loss
between evaporator and condenser is also the result of the single layer. This lost heat is not available to the distillation
process whereby its eciency is lowered.

Air-gap MD

In air-gap MD, the evaporator channel resembles that in DCMD, whereas the permeate gap lies between the mem-
brane and a cooled walling and is lled with air. The vapour passing through the membrane must additionally over-
come this air gap before condensing on the cooler surface. The advantage of this method is the high thermal insulation
towards the condenser channel, thus minimizing heat conduction losses. However, the disadvantage is that the air
gap represents an additional barrier for mass transport, reducing the surface- related permeate output compared to
DCMD. A further advantage towards DCMD is the fact, that volatile substances with a low surface tension such as
alcohol or other solvents can be separated from diluted solutions, due to the fact that there is no contact between the
liquid permeate and the membrane with AGMD.

Sweeping-gas MD

Schematic SWGMD arrangement

Schematic VCMD arrangement

Sweeping-gas MD, also known as air stripping, uses a channel conguration with an empty gap on the permeate side.
This conguration is the same as in AGMD. Condensation of the vapour takes place outside the MD module in an
external condenser. As with AGMD, volatile substances with a low surface tension can be distilled with this process.
The advantage of SWGMD over AGMD is the signicant reduction of the barrier to the mass transport through forced
ow. Hereby higher surface-related productwater mass ows can be achieved than with AGMD. A disadvantage of
SWGMD caused by the gas component and therefore the higher total mass ow, is the necessity of a higher condenser
capacity. When using smaller gas mass ows there is a risk of the gas heating itself at the hot membrane surface, thus
reducing the vapour pressure dierence and therefore the driving force. One solution of this problem for SWGMD
and for AGMD is the use of a cooled walling for the permeate channel, and maintaining temperature by ushing it
with gas.

Vacuum MD

Vacuum MD contains an air gap channel conguration. Once it has passed through the membrane, the vapour is
sucked out of the permeate channel and condenses outside the module as with SWGMD. VCMD and DWGMD
can be applied for the separation of volatile substances from a watery solution or for the generation of pure water
from concentrated salt water. One advantage of this method is that undissolved inert gasses blocking the membrane
pores are sucked out by the vacuum, leaving a larger eective membrane surface active. Furthermore, a reduction
of the boiling point results in a comparable amount of product at lower overall temperatures and lower temperature
dierences through the membrane. A lower required temperature dierence leaves a lower total- and specic thermal
energy demand. However, the generation of a vacuum, which must be adjusted to the salt water temperature, requires

complex technical equipment and is therefore a disadvantage to this method. The electrical energy demand is a lot
higher as with DCMD and AGMD. An additional problem is the increase of the pH value due to the removal of CO2
from the feed water.

Permeate-gap MD

Schematic image of a DCMD channel conguration

Schematic image of a PGMD channel conguration

In the following, the principle channel conguration and operating method of a standard DCMD module as well as a
DCMD module with separate permeate gap shall be explained. The design in the adjacent image depicts a at channel
conguration, but can also be understood as a schema for at-, hollow bre - or spiral wound modules.
The complete channel conguration consists of a condenser channel with inlet and outlet and an evaporator channel
with inlet and outlet. These two channels are separated by the hydrophobic, micro porous membrane. For cooling,
the condenser channel is ooded with fresh water and the evaporator e.g. with salty feed water. The coolant enters
the condenser channel at a temperature of 20 C. After passing through the membrane, the vapour condenses in the
cooling water, releasing its latent heat and leading to a temperature increase in the coolant. Sensible heat conduction
also heats the cooling water through the surface of the membrane. Due to the mass transport through the membrane
the mass ow in the evaporator decreases whilst the condenser channel increases by the same amount. The mass ow
of pre-heated coolant leaves the condenser channel at a temperature of about 72 C and enters a heat exchanger, thus
pre-heating the feed water. This feed water is then delivered to a further heat source and nally enters the evaporator
channel of the MD module at a temperature of 80 C. The evaporation process extracts latent heat from the feed
ow, which cools down the feed increasingly in ow direction. Additional heat reduction occurs due to sensible heat
passing through the membrane. The cooled feed water leaves the evaporator channel at approximately 28 C. Total
temperature dierences between condenser inlet and evaporator outlet and condenser inlet and evaporator outlet are
about equal. In a PGMD module, the permeate channel is separated from the condenser channel by a condensation
surface. This enables the direct use of a salt water feed as coolant, since it does not come into contact with the

permeate. Considering this, the cooling-or feed water entering the condenser channel at a temperature T1 can now
also be used to cool the permeate. Condensation of vapour takes place inside the liquid permeate. Pre-heated feed
water that was used to cool the condenser can be conducted directly to a heat source for nal heating, after leaving
the condenser at a temperature T2. After it has reached temperature T3 it is guided into the evaporator. Permeate is
extracted at temperature T5 and the cooled brine is discharged at temperature T4.
An advantage of PGMD towards DCMD is the direct use of feed water as cooling liquid inside the module and there-
fore the necessity of only one heat exchanger to heat the feed before entering the evaporator. Hereby heat conduction
losses are reduced and expensive components can be cut. A further advantage is the separation of permeate from
coolant. Therefore, the permeate does not have to be extracted later in the process and the coolants mass ow in the
condenser channel remains constant. The low ow velocity of the permeate in the permeate gap is a disadvantage
of this conguration, as it leads to a poor heat conduction from the membrane surface to the condenser walling.
High temperatures on the permeate sides membrane bounding surface are the result of this eect (temperature
polarisation), which lowers the vapour pressure dierence and therefore the driving force of the process. However,
it is benecial, that the heat conduction losses through the membrane are also lowered by this eect. Compared to
AGMD a higher surface related permeate output is achieved, as the mass ow is not additionally inhibited by the
diusion resistance of an air layer.[1]

Vacuum multi-eect membrane distillation

The typical vacuum multi-eect membrane distillation (e.g. the memsys brand V-MEMD) module consists of a steam
raiser, evaporationcondensation stages, and a condenser. Each stage recovers the heat of condensation, providing a
multiple-eect design. Distillate is produced in each evaporationcondensation stage and in the condenser.
Steam raiser: The heat produced by the external heat source (e.g. solar thermal or waste heat) is exchanged in the
steam raiser. The water in the steam raiser is at lower pressure (e.g. 400 mbar), compared to the ambient. The hot
steam ows to the rst evaporationcondensation stage (stage 1).
Evaporationcondensation stages: Stages are composed of alternative hydrophobic membrane and foil (Polypropy-
lene, PP) frames. Feed (e.g. seawater) is introduced into stage 1 of the module. Feed ows serially through the
evaporationcondensation stages. At the end of last stage, it is ejected as brine.
Stage 1: Steam from the evaporator condenses on a PP foil at pressure level P1 and corresponding temperature T1.
The combination of a foil and a hydrophobic membrane creates a channel for the feed, where the feed is heated by
the heat of condensation of the vapour from the steam raiser. Feed evaporates under the negative pressure P2. The
vacuum is always applied to the permeate side of the membranes.
Stage [2, 3, 4, x]: This process is replicated in further stages and each stage is at a lower pressure and temperature.
Condenser: The vapour produced in the nal evaporationcondensation stage is condensed in the condenser, using
the coolant ow (e.g. seawater).
Distillate production: Condensed distillate is transported via the bottom of each stage by pressure dierence between
Design of memsys module: Inside each memsys frame, and between frames, channels are created. Foil frames are the
distillate channels. Membrane frames are the vapour channels. Between foil and membrane frames, feed channels
are created. Vapour enters the stage and ows into parallel foil frames. The only option of for the vapour entering
the foil frames is to condense, i.e. vapour enters a dead-end foil frame. Although it is called a dead-end frame, it
does contain a small channel to remove the non-condensable gases and to apply the vacuum.
The condensed vapour ows into a distillate channel. The heat of condensation is transported through the foil and
is immediately converted into evaporation energy, generating new vapour in the seawater feed channel. The feed
channel is limited by one condensing foil and a membrane.The vapour leaves the membrane channels and is collected
in a main vapour channel. The vapour leaves the stage via this channel and enters the next stage. memsys has
developed a highly automated production line for the modules and could be easily extended. As the memsys process
works at modest low temperatures (<90 C) and moderate negative pressure, all module components are made of
polypropylene (PP). This eliminates corrosion and scaling and allows large-scale cost ecient production.

4.5.2 Application

Typical applications of membrane distillation are:


The hydrophobic membranes (or PP foils) are welded at both sides of the memsys frame. This frame are designed to combine and
distribute vapor, feed, non condensable gas and distillate ows.

Seawater desalination

Brackish water desalination

Process water treatment

Water purication

Removal/Concentration of ammonium

Resource concentration

Dierent numbers of memsys frame are friction welded as memsys module (e.g. steam raiser, membrane stage and condenser).
GOR and capacity of memsys module can be easily modied deponding on the application or customers needs.

Diagram of memsys V-MEMD process

4.5.3 Solar-powered membrane distillation

Membrane distillation is very suitable for compact, solar powered desalination units providing small and medium
range output <10000 l/day. Especially the spiral wound design patented by GORE in the year 1985 suits this appli-

Plant design of a compact system

Plant design of a two loop system

cation. Within the MEMDIS project, which kicked o in 2003, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems
ISE began developing MD modules as well as installing and analysing two dierent solar powered operating sys-
tems, together with other project parters. The rst system type is a so-called compact system, designed to produce a
drinking water output of 100-120 l/day from sea-or brackish water. The main aim of the system design is a simple,
self-sucient, low maintenance and robust plant for target markets in arid and semi-arid areas of low infrastructure.
The second system type is a so-called two-loop plant with a capacity of around 2000 l/day. Here, the collector circuit
is separated from the desalination circuit by a saltwater resistant heat exchanger.[1] Based on these two system types,
a various number of prototypes were developed, installed and observed.

The standard conguration of todays (2011) compact system is able to produce a distillate output of up to 150 l/day.
The required thermal energy is supplied by a 6.5 m solar thermal collector eld. Electrical energy is supplied by a
75 W PV-module. This system type is currently being developed further and marketed by the Solar Spring GmbH, a
Spin -O of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. Within the MEDIRAS project- a further EU-project,
an enhanced two-loop system was installed on the Island of Gran Canary. Built inside a 20 ft container and equipped
with a collector aray size of 225 m, a heat storage tank makes a distillate output of up to 3000 l/day possible. Further
applications with up to 5000 l/day have also been implemented, either 100% solar powered or as hybrid projects in
combination with waste heat.
Exemplary systems

4.5.4 References
[1] Joachim Koschikowski: Entwicklung von energieautark arbeitenden Wasserentsalzungsanlagen auf Basis der Membran-
destillation Fraunhofer Verlag, 2011, 3839602602

4.5.5 Literature
H. E. Hoemig: Seawater and Seawater Distillation Vulkan-Verlag, 1978, 3802724380
Winter, D.; Koschikowski, J.; Wieghaus, M.:Desalination using membrane distillation: Experimental studies on
full scale spiral wound modules. Fraunhofer ISE, Freiburg 2011.
E. Curcio, E. Drioli: Membrane Distillation and Related OperationsA Review, Separation & Purication
Reviews 34/1 (2005) 35-85

4.6 Forward osmosis

Osmotic Membrane Processes

Forward osmosis (FO) is an osmotic process that, like reverse osmosis (RO), uses a semi-permeable membrane to
eect separation of water from dissolved solutes. The driving force for this separation is an osmotic pressure gradient,
such that a draw solution of high concentration (relative to that of the feed solution), is used to induce a net ow
of water through the membrane into the draw solution, thus eectively separating the feed water from its solutes.
In contrast, the reverse osmosis process uses hydraulic pressure as the driving force for separation, which serves to
counteract the osmotic pressure gradient that would otherwise favor water ux from the permeate to the feed. Hence
signicantly more energy is required for reverse osmosis compared to forward osmosis.
The simplest equation describing the relationship between osmotic and hydraulic pressures and water (solvent) ux

Jw = A ( P )

Family of osmotic membrane processes, including reverse osmosis and forward osmosis

where Jw is water ux, A is the hydraulic permeability of the membrane, is the dierence in osmotic pressures
on the two sides of the membrane, and P is the dierence in hydrostatic pressure (negative values of Jw indicating
reverse osmotic ow). The modeling of these relationships is in practice more complex than this equation indicates,
with ux depending on the membrane, feed, and draw solution characteristics, as well as the uid dynamics within
the process itself.[1]
The solute ux ( Js ) for each individual solute can be modelled by Ficks Law

Js = Bc

Where B is the solute permeability coecient and c is the trans-membrane concentration dierential for the solute.
It is clear from this governing equation that a solute will diuse from an area of high concentration to an area of low
concentration. This is well known in reverse osmosis where solutes from the feedwater diuse to the product water,
however in the case of forward osmosis the situation can be far more complicated.
In FO processes we may have solute diusion in both directions depending on the composition of the draw solution and
the feed water. This does two things; the draw solution solutes may diuse to the feed solution and the feed solution
solutes may diuse to the draw solution. Clearly these phenomena have consequences in terms of the selection of
the draw solution for any particular FO process. For instance the loss of draw solution may aect the feed solution
perhaps due to environmental issues or contamination of the feed stream, such as in osmotic membrane bioreactors.
An additional distinction between the reverse osmosis (RO) and forward osmosis (FO) processes is that the permeate
water resulting from an RO process is in most cases fresh water ready for use. In the FO process, this is not the case.
The membrane separation of the FO process in eect results in a trade between the solutes of the feed solution and
the draw solution. Depending on the concentration of solutes in the feed (which dictates the necessary concentration
of solutes in the draw) and the intended use of the product of the FO process, this step may be all that is required.
The forward osmosis process is also known as osmosis or in the case of a number of companies who have coined
their own terminology 'engineered osmosis and 'manipulated osmosis.

4.6.1 Applications

Hydration bag before use

Emergency drinks

One example of an application of this type may be found in hydration bags, which use an ingestible draw solute and
are intended for separation of water from dilute feeds. This allows, for example, the ingestion of water from surface
waters (streams, ponds, puddles, etc.) that may be expected to contain pathogens or toxins that are readily rejected by
the FO membrane. With sucient contact time, such water will permeate the membrane bag into the draw solution,
leaving the undesirable feed constituents behind. The diluted draw solution may then be ingested directly. Typically,

the draw solutes are sugars such as glucose or fructose, which provide the additional benet of nutrition to the user of
the FO device. A point of additional interest with such bags is that they may be readily used to recycle urine, greatly
extending the ability of a backpacker or soldier to survive in arid environments.[2] This process may also, in principle,
be employed with highly concentrated saline feedwater sources such as seawater, as one of the rst intended uses of
FO with ingestible solutes was for survival in life rafts at sea.[3]


Modern Waters containerised forward osmosis desalination plant at Al Khaluf, Oman

Desalinated water can be produced from the diluted draw / osmotic agent solution, using a second process. This may
be by membrane separation, thermal method, physical separation or a combination of these processes. The process
has the feature of inherently low fouling because of the forward osmosis rst step, unlike conventional reverse osmosis
desalination plants where fouling is often a problem. Modern Water has deployed forward osmosis based desalination
plants in Gibraltar and Oman.[4][5][6] In March 2010, National Geographic[7] magazine cited forward osmosis as one
of three technologies that promised to reduce the energy requirements of desalination.

Evaporative cooling tower make-up water

One other application developed, where only the forward osmosis step is used, is in evaporative cooling make-up
water. In this case the cooling water is the draw solution and the water lost by evaporation is simply replaced using
water produced by forward osmosis from a suitable source, such as seawater, brackish water, treated sewage euent
or industrial waste water. Thus in comparison with other desalination processes that may be used for make-up water
the energy consumption is a fraction of these with the added advantage of the low fouling propensity of a forward
osmosis process.[8][9][10]

Simple diagram of forward osmosis applied to the production of make-up water for evaporative cooling

Landll leachate treatment

In the case where the desired product is fresh water that does not contain draw solutes, a second separation step is
required. The rst separation step of FO, driven by an osmotic pressure gradient, does not require a signicant energy
input (only unpressurized stirring or pumping of the solutions involved). The second separation step, however does
typically require energy input. One method used for the second separation step is to employ RO. This approach has
been used, for instance, in the treatment of landll leachate. An FO membrane separation is used to draw water from
the leachate feed into a saline (NaCl) brine. The diluted brine is then passed through a RO process to produce fresh
water and a reusable brine concentrate. The advantage of this method is not a savings in energy, but rather in the
fact that the FO process is more resistant to fouling from the leachate feed than a RO process alone would be.[11] A
similar FO/RO hybrid has been used for the concentration of food products, such as fruit juice.[12]

Brine concentration

Brine concentration using forward osmosis may be achieved using a high osmotic pressure draw solution with a means
to recover and regenerate it. One such process uses the ammonia-carbon dioxide forward osmosis process originally
developed at Yale University[13][14] and commercialized by Oasys Water. Because ammonia and carbon dioxide
readily dissociate into gases using heat, the draw solutes can eectively be recovered and reused in a closed loop
system. Brine concentration is currently being used in the oil and gas industry to treat produced water in the Permian
Basin area of Texas.[15]

Forward osmosis based feedwater pre-treatment for multi stage ash distillation

Feed water 'softening' / pre-treatment for thermal desalination

One unexploited application[16] is to 'soften' or pre-treat the feedwater to multi stage ash (MSF) or multiple eect
distillation (MED) plants by osmotically diluting the recirculating brine with the cooling water. This reduces the con-
centrations of scale forming calcium carbonate and calcium sulphate compared to the normal process, thus allowing
an increase in top brine temperature (TBT), output and gained output ratio (GOR). Darwish et al.[17] showed that the
TBT could be raised from 110 C to 135 C whilst maintaining the same scaling index for calcium sulphate.

Osmotic power

In 1954 Pattle[18] suggested that there was an untapped source of power when a river mixes with the sea, in terms of the
lost osmotic pressure, however it was not until the mid 70s where a practical method of exploiting it using selectively
permeable membranes by Loeb [19] and independently by Jellinek[20] was outlined. This process was referred by Loeb
as pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) and one simplistic implementation is shown opposite. Some situations that may
be envisaged to exploit it are using the dierential osmotic pressure between a low brackish river owing into the sea,
or brine and seawater. The worldwide theoretical potential for osmotic power has been estimated at 1,650 TWh /
In more recent times a signicant amount of research and development work has been undertaken and funded by
Statkraft, the Norwegian state energy company. A prototype plant was built in Norway generating a gross output
between 2 4 kW; see Statkraft osmotic power prototype in Hurum. A much larger plant with an output of 1 2
MW at Sunndalsra, 400 km north of Oslo was considered[22] but was subsequently dropped.[23] The New Energy
and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) in Japan is funding work on osmotic power.[24]

4.6.2 Research

An area of current research in FO involves direct removal of draw solutes, in this case by means of a magnetic eld.
Small (nanoscale) magnetic particles are suspended in solution creating osmotic pressures sucient for the separation
of water from a dilute feed. Once the draw solution containing these particles has been diluted by the FO water ux,
they may be separated from that solution by use of a magnet (either against the side of a hydration bag, or around a
pipe in-line in a steady state process).

Simple PRO power generation scheme

Statkraft PRO pilot plant


4.6.3 References
[1] Lee, K (1981). Membranes for power-generation by pressure-retarded osmosis. Journal of Membrane Science. 8 (2):
141171. doi:10.1016/S0376-7388(00)82088-8.

[2] Salter, R.J. (2005). Forward Osmosis (PDF). Water Conditioning and Purication. 48 (4): 3638.

[3] Kessler, J.O.; Moody, C.D. (1976). Drinking water from sea water by forward osmosis. Desalination. 18 (3): 297306.

[4] FO plant completes 1-year of operation (PDF). Water Desalination Report: 23. 15 Nov 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2011.

[5] Modern Water taps demand in Middle East. The Independent. 23 Nov 2009.

[6] Thompson N.A.; Nicoll P.G. (September 2011). Forward Osmosis Desalination: A Commercial Reality (PDF). Interna-
tional Desalination Association.

[7] The Big Idea. National Geographic. March 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2013.

[8] P. Nicoll Manipulated Osmosis an alternative to Reverse Osmosis? Climate Control Middle East, April 2011, 4649

[9] Nicoll P.G.; Thompson N.A.; Bedford M.R. (September 2011). Manipulated Osmosis Applied To Evaporative Cooling
Make-Up Water Revolutionary Technology (PDF). International Desalination Association.

[10] Peter Nicoll; Neil Thompson; Victoria Gray (February 2012). Forward Osmosis Applied to Evaporative Cooling Make-up
Water (PDF). Cooling Technology Institute.

[11] R. J. York, R. S. Thiel and E. G. Beaudry, Full-scale experience of direct osmosis concentration applied to leachate man-
agement, Sardinia 99 Seventh International Waste Management and Landll Symposium, S. Margherita di Pula, Cagliari,
Sardinia, Italy, 1999.

[12] E. G. Beaudry; K. A. Lampi (1990). Membrane technology for direct osmosis concentration of fruit juices. Food
Technology. 44: 121.

[13] McCutcheon, Jerey R.; McGinnis, Robert L.; Elimelech, Menachem (2005). A novel ammoniacarbon dioxide forward
(direct) osmosis desalination process (PDF). Desalination. 174: 111. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2004.11.002.

[14] US patent 7560029, Robert McGinnis, Osmotic Desalination Process, issued 2009-07-14

[15] Water Desalination Report, FO process concentrates oileld brine. Published October 8, 2012

[16] EP patent 2493815, Peter Nicoll, Thermal Desalination, issued 2013-09-25

[17] Mohammed Darwish; Ashraf Hassan; Abdel Nasser Mabrouk; Hassan Abdulrahim; Adel Sharif (10 July 2015). Viability
of integrating forward osmosis (FO) as pretreatment for existing desalting plant. Desalination and Water Treatment.

[18] R.E. Pattle (2 October 1954). Production of electric power by mixing fresh and salt water in the hydroelectric pile.
Nature. 174 (4431): 660. doi:10.1038/174660a0.

[19] S. Loeb (22 August 1975). Osmotic power plants. Science. 189 (4203): 654655. doi:10.1126/science.189.4203.654.
PMID 17838753.

[20] H.H.G. Jellinek (1975). Osmotic work I. Energy production from osmosis on fresh water/saline water systems. Kagaku
Kojo. 19.

[21] O.S. Scramesto; S.-E. Skillhagen; W.K. Nielsen (2730 July 2009). Power production based upon osmotic pressure
(PDF). Waterpower XVI.

[22] Statkraft considering osmotic power pilot facility at Sunndalsra. Retrieved 1 May 2014.

[23] Statkraft halts osmotic power investments. Retrieved 1 May 2014.

[24] Focus on Forward Osmosis, Part 2. Water Desalination Report. 49 (15). 22 April 2013.

4.6.4 Further reading

Cath, T; Childress, A; Elimelech, M (2006). Forward osmosis: Principles, applications, and recent develop-
ments (PDF). Journal of Membrane Science. 281: 7087. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2006.05.048.

Duranceau, Steven (July 2012). Emergence of Forward Osmosis and Pressure-Retarded Osmotic Processes
for Drinking Water Treatment (PDF). Florida Water Resources Journal: 3236. Retrieved 14 June 2013.

Nicoll, Peter G. Forward Osmosis - A Brief Introduction (PDF). http://idadesal.org/publications/invited-white-papers/.

International Desalination Association. Retrieved 13 November 2014. External link in |website= (help)
Chapter 5

Solar desalination

5.1 Solar desalination

Solar desalination is a technique to desalinate water using solar energy. There are two basic methods of achieving
desalination using this technique; direct and indirect.

5.1.1 Methods
In the direct method, a solar collector is coupled with a distilling mechanism and the process is carried out in one sim-
ple cycle.[1] Solar stills of this type are described in survival guides, provided in marine survival kits, and employed
in many small desalination and distillation plants. Water production by direct method solar distillation is proportional
to the area of the solar surface and incidence angle and has an average estimated value of 3-4L/m2 /day.[2] Because
of this proportionality and the relatively high cost of property and material for construction direct method distillation
tends to favor plants with production capacities less than 200m3 /day.[2]
Indirect solar desalination employs two separate systems; a solar collection array, consisting of photovoltaic and/or
uid based thermal collectors, and a separate conventional desalination plant.[1] Production by indirect method is
dependent on the eciency of the plant and the cost per unit produced is generally reduced by an increase in scale.
Many dierent plant arrangements have been theoretically analyzed, experimentally tested and in some cases in-
stalled. They include but are not limited to multiple-eect humidication (MEH), multi-stage ash distillation (MSF),
multiple-eect distillation (MED), multiple-eect boiling (MEB), humidicationdehumidication (HDH), reverse
osmosis (RO), and freeze-eect distillation.[3]
Indirect solar desalination systems using photovoltaic (PV) panels and reverse osmosis (RO) have been commercially
available and in use since 2009. Output by 2013 is up to 1,600 litres (420 US gal) per hour per system, and 200
litres/day per square metre of PV panel.[4] [5] Municipal-scale systems are planned. [6] Utirik Atoll in the Pacic
ocean has been supplied with fresh water this way since 2010.[7]
Indirect solar desalination by a form of humidication/dehumidication is in use in the Seawater Greenhouse.

5.1.2 History
Methods of solar distillation have been employed by humankind for thousands of years. From early Greek mariners
to Persian alchemists, this basic technology has been utilized to produce both freshwater and medicinal distillates.
Solar stills were in fact the rst method used on a large scale to process contaminated water and convert it to a potable
In 1870 the rst US patent was granted for a solar distillation device to Norman Wheeler and Walton Evans.[8] Two
years later in Las Salinas, Chile, Charles Wilson, a Swedish engineer, began building a direct method solar powered
distillation plant to supply freshwater to workers at a saltpeter and silver mine. It operated continuously for 40 years
and produced an average of 22.7 m3 of distilled water a day using the euent from mining operations as its feed
Solar desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater in the modern United States extends back to the early 1950s


when Congress passed the Conversion of Saline Water Act, which led to the establishment of the Oce of Saline
Water (OSW) in 1955. The OSWs main function was to administer funds for research and development of desalina-
tion projects.[10] One of the ve demonstration plants constructed was located in Daytona Beach, Florida and devoted
to exploring methods of solar distillation. Many of the projects were aimed at solving water scarcity issues in remote
desert and coastal communities.[9] In the 1960s and 70s several modern solar distillations plants were constructed
on the Greek isles with capacities ranging from 2000 to 8500 m3 /day.[2] In 1984 a MED plant was constructed in
Abu-Dhabi with a capacity of 120 m3 /day and is still in operation.[9]
Of the estimated 22 million m3 of freshwater being produced a day through desalination processes worldwide, less
than 1% is made using solar energy.[2] The prevailing methods of desalination, MSF and RO, are energy intensive and
rely heavily on fossil fuels.[3] Because of inexpensive methods of freshwater delivery and abundant low cost energy
resources, solar distillation has, up to this point, been viewed as cost prohibitive and impractical.[2] It is estimated that
desalination plants powered by conventional fuels consume the equivalent of 203 million tons of fuel a year.[2] With the
approach (or passage) of peak oil production, fossil fuel prices will continue to increase as those resources decline;
as a result solar energy will become a more attractive alternative for achieving the worlds desalination needs.[11]

5.1.3 Types of solar desalination

There are two primary means of achieving desalination using solar energy, through a phase change by thermal input,
or in a single phase through mechanical separation.[12] Phase change (or multi-phase) can be accomplished by either
direct or indirect solar distillation. Single phase is predominantly accomplished by the use of photovoltaic cells to
produce electricity to drive pumps although there are experimental methods being researched using solar thermal
collection to provide this mechanical energy.[11]

5.1.4 Multi-stage ash distillation (MSF)

Multi-stage ash distillation is one of the predominant conventional phase-change methods of achieving desalination.
It accounts for roughly 45% of the total world desalination capacity and 93% of all thermal methods.[2]
Solar derivatives have been studied and in some cases implemented in small and medium scale plants around the
world. In Margarita de Savoya, Italy there is a 50-60 m3 /day MSF plant with a salinity gradient solar pond providing
its thermal energy and storage capacity. In El Paso, Texas there is a similar project in operation that produces
19 m3 /day. In Kuwait a MSF facility has been built using parabolic trough collectors to provide the necessary solar
thermal energy to produce 100 m3 of fresh water a day.[3] And in Northern China there is an experimental, automatic,
unmanned operation that uses 80 m2 of vacuum tube solar collectors coupled with a 1 kW wind turbine (to drive
several small pumps) to produce 0.8 m3 /day.[13]
Production data shows that MSF solar distillation has an output capacity of 6-60 L/m2 /day versus the 3-4 L/m2 /day
standard output of a solar still.[3] MSF experience very poor eciency during start up or low energy periods. In
order to achieve the highest eciency MSF requires carefully controlled pressure drops across each stage and a
steady energy input. As a result, solar applications require some form of thermal energy storage to deal with cloud
interference, varying solar patterns, night time operation, and seasonal changes in ambient air temperature. As thermal
energy storage capacity increases a more continuous process can be achieved and production rates approach maximum

Towered desalination plant built in Pakistan

In 1993 a desalination plant was invented in Pakistan, producing 4 liters of water per square meter per day, which is
at least ten times more productive than a conventional horizontal solar desalination plant.[15] The structure is a raised
tower made of concrete, with a tank at the top. The whole plant is covered with glass of the same shape, but slightly
larger, allowing for a gap between the cement tower and the glass.
The tank is lled with saline water and water from an outside tank, drop by drop water enters the inner tank. The
excessive water from the inner tank drips out onto the cement walls of the tower, from top to bottom. By solar
radiation, the water on the wet surface and in the tank evaporate and condense on the inner surface of the glass cylinder
and ow down onto the collecting drain channel. Meanwhile, the concentrated saline water drains out through a saline
In this process fresh saline water is continuously added to the walls from the top of the tower. After evaporation, the

remaining saline water falls down and drains out continuously. The movement of water also increases the energy of
molecules and increases the evaporation process. The increase in the towers height also increases the production.
Whereas in the conventional system water that is lled remains at a standstill for several days, a condenser is provided
at the top in an isolated space, allowing cold water to pass through the condenser. The condensed hot vapors and hot
water from the condenser are also thrown on the cement wall.
This plants base is 3.5 by 1.5 by 10 feet (1.07 m 0.46 m 3.05 m) high, and gives about 12 litres (3.2 US gal)
of water per day. Built horizontally, a structured plant receives solar radiation at noon only. But Zuberis plant is
a vertical tower and receives solar energy from sunrise till sunset. From early morning, it receives perpendicular
radiation on one side of the plant, while at noon its top gets radiation equivalent to the horizontal plant. From noon
till sunset, the other side receives maximum radiation.
By increasing the height, the tower plant receives more solar energy and the inner temperature increases as height
increases. Ultimately this increases the water yield.
Dierent successive plants were constructed during 1960s. A number of experiments have been conducted and a
much more productive plant has been developed, with further work continuing.
This project can be implemented anywhere there is ground water, brine or sea water available with suitable sun.
During dierent experiments a plant 6 feet (1.8 m) high can attain a temperature of 60 C (140 F), while a plant of
10 feet (3.0 m) high can reach a temperature of up to 86 C (187 F).

Solar humidicationdehumidication

Main article: Solar humidication

The solar humidicationdehumidication (HDH) process (also called the multiple-eect humidicationdehumidication
process, solar multistage condensation evaporation cycle (SMCEC) or multiple-eect humidication (MEH),[16] is a
technique that mimics the natural water cycle on a shorter time frame by evaporating and condensing water to separate
it from other substances. The driving force in this process is thermal solar energy to produce water vapor which is
later condensed in a separate chamber. In sophisticated systems, waste heat is minimized by collecting the heat from
the condensing water vapor and pre-heating the incoming water source. This system is eective for small- to mid-
scale desalination systems in remote locations because of the relative inexpensiveness of solar thermal collectors.

5.1.5 Problems with thermal systems

There are two inherent design problems facing any thermal solar desalination project. Firstly, the systems eciency
is governed by preferably high heat and mass transfer during evaporation and condensation. The surfaces have to be
properly designed within the contradictory objectives of heat transfer eciency, economy, and reliability.
Secondly, the heat of condensation is valuable because it takes large amounts of solar energy to evaporate water and
generate saturated, vapor-laden hot air. This energy is, by denition, transferred to the condensers surface during
condensation. With most forms of solar stills, this heat of condensation is ejected from the system as waste heat.
The challenge still existing in the eld today, is to achieve the optimum temperature dierence between the solar-
generated vapor and the seawater-cooled condenser, maximal reuse of the energy of condensation, and minimizing
the asset investment.

5.1.6 Solutions for thermal systems

One solution to the barrier presented by the high level of solar energy required in solar desalination eorts is to reduce
the pressure within the reservoir. This can be accomplished using a vacuum pump, and signicantly decreases the
temperature of heat energy required for desalination. For example, water at a pressure of 0.1 atmospheres boils at 50
C (122 F) rather than 100 C (212 F).[17]

5.1.7 See also

Solar Energy Vacuum Seawater Desalination.

Point Paterson Desalination Plant
Solar Powered Desalination Unit
Solar still
Seawater Greenhouse

5.1.8 References
[1] Garca-Rodrguez, Lourdes; Palmero-Marrero, Ana I.; Gmez-Camacho, Carlos (2002). Comparison of solar thermal
technologies for applications in seawater desalination. Desalination. 142 (2): 13542. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(01)00432-
[2] Kalogirou, S. (2009). Solar energy engineering: Processes and systems. Burlington, MA: Elsevier/Academic Press.
[3] Qiblawey, Hazim Mohameed; Banat, Fawzi (2008). Solar thermal desalination technologies. Desalination. 220: 63344.
[4] Trunk size solar desalination unit
[5] Container size solar desalination unit
[6] Al-Khafji plantArab News item 2013
[7] Utrik RO unit a big successMarshall Islands Journal Jan 17th 2014
[8] Wheeler, N., Evans, W., (1870) Improvements in Evaporating and Distilling by Solar Heat. http://www.google.com/
[9] Delyannis, E. (2003). Historic background of desalination and renewable energies, Solar Energy, 75(5), 357-366.
[10] National Archives, http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/380.html
[11] Attia, Ahmed A.A. (2012). Thermal analysis for system uses solar energy as a pressure source for reverse osmosis (RO)
water desalination. Solar Energy. 86 (9): 248693. Bibcode:2012SoEn...86.2486A. doi:10.1016/j.solener.2012.05.018.
[12] Li, Chennan; Goswami, Yogi; Stefanakos, Elias (2013). Solar assisted sea water desalination: A review. Renewable and
Sustainable Energy Reviews. 19: 13663. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2012.04.059.
[13] Chen, Zhili; Xie, Guo; Chen, Ziqian; Zheng, Hongfei; Zhuang, Chunlong (2012). Field test of a solar seawater desalination
unit with triple-eect falling lm regeneration in northern China. Solar Energy. 86: 319. Bibcode:2012SoEn...86...31C.
[14] Gude, Veera Gnaneswar; Nirmalakhandan, Nagamany; Deng, Shuguang; Maganti, Anand (2012). Low temperature de-
salination using solar collectors augmented by thermal energy storage. Applied Energy. 91: 46674. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.10.018.
[15] National ENERGY GLOBE Award Pakistan
[16] The MEH-method (in German with english abstract): Solar Desalination using the MEH method, Diss. Technical Univer-
sity of Munich
[17] http://www.globalwarmingsolutions.co.uk/large_scale_solar_desalination_using_multi_effect_humidification.htm Large
scale Solar Desalination using Multi Eect Humidication

5.1.9 External links

Autonomous desalination in the Mediterranean: ADIRA
European Solar Thermal Technology Platform, ESTTP. ESTTP
Network on renewable energy based desalination: Coordination Action - ADU-RES
Solar Thermal Desalination SolarSpring
SEA Panel manufacturer of personal solar desalination systems
European project supporting the use of renewable energy for powering desalination: ProDes
SPX Global manufacturer of solar powered water systems for remote areas

5.2 Solar humidication

The solar humidicationdehumidication method (HDH) is a thermal water desalination method. It is based
on evaporation of sea water or brackish water and consecutive condensation of the generated humid air, mostly at
ambient pressure. This process mimics the natural water cycle, but over a much shorter time frame.
The simplest conguration is implemented in the solar still, evaporating the sea water inside a glass covered box and
condensing the water vapor on the lower side of the glass cover. More sophisticated designs separate the solar heat
gain section from the evaporation-condensation chamber. An optimized design comprises separated evaporation and
condensation sections. A signicant part of the heat consumed for evaporation can be regained during condensation.
An example for such an optimized thermal desalination cycle is the multiple-eect humidication (MEH) method of
Solar humidication takes place in every greenhouse. Water evaporates from the surfaces of soil, water and plants
because of thermal input. In this way the humidication process is naturally integrated within the architecture of
the greenhouse. Several companies like Seawater greenhouse utilize this inherent feature of a greenhouse in order to
conduct desalination inside the atmosphere of the facility. The integrated biotectural system, or IBTS Greenhouse
mimics the natural process of cloud formation respectively desalination exactly.

5.2.1 Tests
There are successful small-scale agricultural experimentation done in arid regions such as Israel, West Africa, and
Peru. The major diculty lies in eectively concentrating the energy of sun on a small area to speed up evaporation.[1]

5.2.2 External links

Encyclopedia of Desalination and Water Resources

The MEH-Method (in German with English abstract): Solar Desalination using the MEH method, Diss. Tech-
nical University of Munich

Desalination Systems using the MEH-Process

5.2.3 References
[1] Trujillo, Alan (2011). Essentials of Oceanography. Pearson Education, Inc. p. 157. ISBN 9780321668127.
Chapter 6

Other methods

6.1 Geothermal desalination

Geothermal desalination is a process under development for the production of fresh water using heat energy.
Claimed benets of this method of desalination are that it requires less maintenance than reverse osmosis mem-
branes and that the primary energy input is from geothermal heat, which is a low-environmental-impact source of
Circa 1995, Douglas Firestone from Nevada devised the use of geothermal water directly as a source for desalina-
tion. In 1998, several individuals began working with evaporation/condensation air loop water desalination. The
experiment was successful and a proof of concept, proving that geothermal waters could be used as process water to
produce potable water in 2001.
In 2005 to 2009 testing was done in a sixth prototype of a device referred to as a delta t device, a closed air loop,
atmospheric pressure, evaporation condensation loop geothermally powered desalination device. The device used
ltered sea water from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and reduced the salt concentration from 35,000 ppm to
51 ppm.
A total of six prototypes and six modications demonstrated that, with process water approaching 100 C (212 F) and
a chill source about 2 C (36 F), a full-size device would produce about 600 m of water per day. Salt concentration
in the wastewater would only be about 10% above the level of the original water, thus, from, say, 35,000 to about
38,000 parts per million, well within the ability of osmoregulators to adjust.

6.1.1 See also

Geothermal power

6.1.2 External links

European Renewable Energy Council - Geothermal Desalination

ScienceDirect - Heat Transfer and Evaporation in Geothermal Desalination Units

6.1.3 References

6.2 Multiple-eect humidication

Multiple-eect humidication (MEH) is a method used for thermal desalination of sea water. It uses multiple
evaporationcondensation cycles at separate temperature levels to minimize the total energy consumption of solar
humidication processes.[1]


6.2.1 References
[1] Mller-Holst, Hendrik (2002). Multiple Eect Humidication Dehumidication at ambient pressure: Optimisation and
applications (in German and English). Technical University of Munich. Retrieved October 25, 2012.

6.3 Methane clathrate

Methane clathrate (CH4 5.75H2 O) or (4CH4 23H2 O), also called methane hydrate, hydromethane, methane
ice, re ice, natural gas hydrate, or gas hydrate, is a solid clathrate compound (more specically, a clathrate
hydrate) in which a large amount of methane is trapped within a crystal structure of water, forming a solid similar
to ice.[1] Originally thought to occur only in the outer regions of the Solar System, where temperatures are low and
water ice is common, signicant deposits of methane clathrate have been found under sediments on the ocean oors
of the Earth.[2]
Methane clathrates are common constituents of the shallow marine geosphere and they occur in deep sedimentary
structures and form outcrops on the ocean oor. Methane hydrates are believed to form by migration of gas from
deep along geological faults, followed by precipitation or crystallization, on contact of the rising gas stream with cold
sea water. In 2008, research on Antarctic Vostok and EPICA Dome C ice cores revealed that methane clathrates
were also present in deep Antarctic ice cores and record a history of atmospheric methane concentrations, dating to
800,000 years ago.[3] The ice-core methane clathrate record is a primary source of data for global warming research,
along with oxygen and carbon dioxide.

6.3.1 General

Methane hydrates were discovered in Russia in the 1960s, and studies for extracting gas from it emerged at the
beginning of the 21st century.[4]

6.3.2 Structure and composition

The nominal methane clathrate hydrate composition is (CH4 )4 (H2 O)23 , or 1 mole of methane for every 5.75 moles
of water, corresponding to 13.4% methane by mass, although the actual composition is dependent on how many
methane molecules t into the various cage structures of the water lattice. The observed density is around 0.9 g/cm3 ,
which means that methane hydrate will oat to the surface of the sea or of a lake unless it is bound in place by being
formed in or anchored to sediment.[5] One litre of fully saturated methane clathrate solid would therefore contain
about 120 grams of methane (or around 169 litres of methane gas at 0 C and 1 atm),[nb 1] or one cubic metre of
methane clathrate releases about 160 cubic metres of gas.[4]
Methane forms a structure I hydrate with two dodecahedral (12 vertices, thus 12 water molecules) and six tetradecahedral
(14 water molecules) water cages per unit cell. (Because of sharing of water molecules between cages, there are only
46 water molecules per unit cell.) This compares with a hydration number of 20 for methane in aqueous solution.[6]
A methane clathrate MAS NMR spectrum recorded at 275 K and 3.1 MPa shows a peak for each cage type and a sep-
arate peak for gas phase methane. In 2003, a clay-methane hydrate intercalate was synthesized in which a methane
hydrate complex was introduced at the interlayer of a sodium-rich montmorillonite clay. The upper temperature
stability of this phase is similar to that of structure I hydrate.[7]

6.3.3 Natural deposits

See also: Methane hydrate stability zone

Methane clathrates are restricted to the shallow lithosphere (i.e. < 2,000 m depth). Furthermore, necessary con-
ditions are found only in either continental sedimentary rocks in polar regions where average surface temperatures
are less than 0 C; or in oceanic sediment at water depths greater than 300 m where the bottom water temperature
is around 2 C. In addition, deep fresh water lakes may host gas hydrates as well, e.g. the fresh water Lake Baikal,
Siberia.[8] Continental deposits have been located in Siberia and Alaska in sandstone and siltstone beds at less than
800 m depth. Oceanic deposits seem to be widespread in the continental shelf (see Fig.) and can occur within the
sediments at depth or close to the sediment-water interface. They may cap even larger deposits of gaseous methane.[9]

Burning ice. Methane, released by heating, burns; water drips.

Inset: clathrate structure (University of Gttingen, GZG. Abt. Kristallographie).
Source: United States Geological Survey.

Methane hydrate phase diagram. The horizontal axis shows temperature from 15 to 33 Celsius, the vertical axis shows pressure
from 0 to 120,000 kilopascals (0 to 1,184 atmospheres). For example, at 4 Celsius hydrate forms above a pressure of about 50

gas hydrate sample site

other likely hydrate
o occurrences

Worldwide distribution of conrmed or inferred oshore gas hydrate-bearing sediments, 1996.

Source: USGS


There are two distinct types of oceanic deposit. The most common is dominated (> 99%) by methane contained in
a structure I clathrate and generally found at depth in the sediment. Here, the methane is isotopically light (13 C <
60), which indicates that it is derived from the microbial reduction of CO2 . The clathrates in these deep deposits
are thought to have formed in situ from the microbially produced methane, since the 13 C values of clathrate and
surrounding dissolved methane are similar.[9] However, it is also thought that fresh water used in the pressurization

Gas hydrate-bearing sediment, from the subduction zone o Oregon

of oil and gas wells in permafrost and along the continental shelves worldwide combines with natural methane to
form clathrate at depth and pressure, since methane hydrates are more stable in fresh water than in salt water. Local
variations may be very common, since the act of forming hydrate, which extracts pure water from saline formation
waters, can often lead to local, and potentially signicant, increases in formation water salinity. Hydrates normally
exclude the salt in the pore uid from which it forms, thus they exhibit high electric resistivity just like ice, and
sediments containing hydrates have a higher resistivity compared to sediments without gas hydrates (Judge [67]).[10]:9
These deposits are located within a mid-depth zone around 300500 m thick in the sediments (the gas hydrate
stability zone, or GHSZ) where they coexist with methane dissolved in the fresh, not salt, pore-waters. Above this
zone methane is only present in its dissolved form at concentrations that decrease towards the sediment surface.
Below it, methane is gaseous. At Blake Ridge on the Atlantic continental rise, the GHSZ started at 190 m depth and
continued to 450 m, where it reached equilibrium with the gaseous phase. Measurements indicated that methane
occupied 0-9% by volume in the GHSZ, and ~12% in the gaseous zone.[11][12]
In the less common second type found near the sediment surface some samples have a higher proportion of longer-
chain hydrocarbons (< 99% methane) contained in a structure II clathrate. Carbon from this type of clathrate is
isotopically heavier (13 C is 29 to 57 ) and is thought to have migrated upwards from deep sediments, where
methane was formed by thermal decomposition of organic matter. Examples of this type of deposit have been found
in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caspian Sea.[9]
Some deposits have characteristics intermediate between the microbially and thermally sourced types and are con-
sidered to be formed from a mixture of the two.
The methane in gas hydrates is dominantly generated by microbial consortia degrading organic matter in low oxygen
environments, with the methane itself produced by methanogenic archaea. Organic matter in the uppermost few
centimetres of sediments is rst attacked by aerobic bacteria, generating CO2 , which escapes from the sediments into
the water column. Below this region of aerobic activity, anaerobic processes take over, including, successively with
depth, the microbial reduction of nitrite/nitrate, metal oxides, and then sulfates are reduced to suldes. Finally, once
sulfate is used up, methanogenesis becomes a dominant pathway for organic carbon remineralization.

Specic structure of a gas hydrate piece, from the subduction zone o Oregon

If the sedimentation rate is low (about 1 cm/yr), the organic carbon content is low (about 1% ), and oxygen is abundant,
aerobic bacteria can use up all the organic matter in the sediments faster than oxygen is depleted, so lower-energy
electron acceptors are not used. But where sedimentation rates and the organic carbon content are high, which is
typically the case on continental shelves and beneath western boundary current upwelling zones, the pore water in the
sediments becomes anoxic at depths of only a few centimeters or less. In such organic-rich marine sediments, sulfate
then becomes the most important terminal electron acceptor due to its high concentration in seawater, although it too
is depleted by a depth of centimeters to meters. Below this, methane is produced. This production of methane is a
rather complicated process, requiring a highly reducing environment (Eh 350 to 450 mV) and a pH between 6 and
8, as well as a complex syntrophic consortia of dierent varieties of archaea and bacteria, although it is only archaea
that actually emit methane.
In some regions (e.g., Gulf of Mexico) methane in clathrates may be at least partially derived from thermal degradation
of organic matter, dominantly in petroleum.[13] The methane in clathrates typically has a biogenic isotopic signature
and highly variable 13 C (40 to 100), with an approximate average of about 65 .[14][15][16] Below the zone
of solid clathrates, large volumes of methane may form bubbles of free gas in the sediments.[11][17][18]
The presence of clathrates at a given site can often be determined by observation of a bottom simulating reector
(BSR), which is a seismic reection at the sediment to clathrate stability zone interface caused by the unequal densities
of normal sediments and those laced with clathrates.

Gas hydrate pingos, have been discovered in the Arctic oceans Barents sea. Methane is bubbling from these dome
like structures, with some of these gas ares extending close to the sea surface.[19]

Reservoir size The size of the oceanic methane clathrate reservoir is poorly known, and estimates of its size de-
creased by roughly an order of magnitude per decade since it was rst recognized that clathrates could exist in the
oceans during the 1960s and 1970s.[20] The highest estimates (e.g. 31018 m)[21] were based on the assumption that
fully dense clathrates could litter the entire oor of the deep ocean. Improvements in our understanding of clathrate
chemistry and sedimentology have revealed that hydrates form in only a narrow range of depths (continental shelves),
at only some locations in the range of depths where they could occur (10-30% of the Gas hydrate stability zone), and
typically are found at low concentrations (0.91.5% by volume) at sites where they do occur. Recent estimates con-
strained by direct sampling suggest the global inventory occupies between 11015 and 51015 m (0.24 to 1.2 million
cubic miles).[20] This estimate, corresponding to 5002500 gigatonnes carbon (Gt C), is smaller than the 5000 Gt
C estimated for all other geo-organic fuel reserves but substantially larger than the ~230 Gt C estimated for other
natural gas sources.[20][22] The permafrost reservoir has been estimated at about 400 Gt C in the Arctic,[23] but no
estimates have been made of possible Antarctic reservoirs. These are large amounts. In comparison, the total carbon
in the atmosphere is around 800 gigatons (see Carbon: Occurrence).
These modern estimates are notably smaller than the 10,000 to 11,000 Gt C (21016 m) proposed[24] by previous
researchers as a reason to consider clathrates to be a geo-organic fuel resource (MacDonald 1990, Kvenvolden 1998).
Lower abundances of clathrates do not rule out their economic potential, but a lower total volume and apparently
low concentration at most sites[20] does suggest that only a limited percentage of clathrates deposits may provide an
economically viable resource.


Methane clathrates in continental rocks are trapped in beds of sandstone or siltstone at depths of less than 800 m.
Sampling indicates they are formed from a mix of thermally and microbially derived gas from which the heavier
hydrocarbons were later selectively removed. These occur in Alaska, Siberia, and Northern Canada.
In 2008, Canadian and Japanese researchers extracted a constant stream of natural gas from a test project at the
Mallik gas hydrate site in the Mackenzie River delta. This was the second such drilling at Mallik: the rst took place
in 2002 and used heat to release methane. In the 2008 experiment, researchers were able to extract gas by lowering
the pressure, without heating, requiring signicantly less energy.[25] The Mallik gas hydrate eld was rst discovered
by Imperial Oil in 1971-1972.[26]

Commercial use

Economic deposits of hydrate are termed Natural Gas Hydrate (NGH) and are unique in that they store 164 m3
of methane, 0.8 m3 water in 1 m3 hydrate.[27] Most NGH is found beneath the seaoor (95%) where it exists in
thermodynamic equilibrium. The sedimentary methane hydrate reservoir probably contains 210 times the cur-
rently known reserves of conventional natural gas, as of 2013.[28] This represents a potentially important future
source of hydrocarbon fuel. However, in the majority of sites deposits are thought to be too dispersed for economic
extraction.[20] Other problems facing commercial exploitation are detection of viable reserves and development of
the technology for extracting methane gas from the hydrate deposits.
In August 2006, China announced plans to spend 800 million yuan (US$100 million) over the next 10 years to study
natural gas hydrates.[29] A potentially economic reserve in the Gulf of Mexico may contain approximately 100 billion
cubic metres (3.51012 cu ft) of gas.[20] Bjrn Kvamme and Arne Graue at the Institute for Physics and technology at
the University of Bergen have developed a method for injecting CO2 into hydrates and reversing the process; thereby
extracting CH4 by direct exchange.[30] The University of Bergens method is being eld tested by ConocoPhillips
and state-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), and partially funded by the U.S.
Department of Energy. The project has already reached injection phase and was analyzing resulting data by March
12, 2012.[31]
On March 12, 2013, JOGMEC researchers announced that they had successfully extracted natural gas from frozen
methane hydrate.[32] In order to extract the gas, specialized equipment was used to drill into and depressurize the
hydrate deposits, causing the methane to separate from the ice. The gas was then collected and piped to surface
where it was ignited to prove its presence.[33] According to an industry spokesperson, It [was] the worlds rst oshore
experiment producing gas from methane hydrate.[32] Previously, gas had been extracted from onshore deposits, but

never from oshore deposits which are much more common.[33] The hydrate eld from which the gas was extracted
is located 50 kilometres (31 mi) from central Japan in the Nankai Trough, 300 metres (980 ft) under the sea.[32][33] A
spokesperson for JOGMEC remarked Japan could nally have an energy source to call its own.[33] The experiment
will continue for two weeks before it is determined how ecient the gas extraction process has been.[33] Marine
geologist Mikio Satoh remarked Now we know that extraction is possible. The next step is to see how far Japan can
get costs down to make the technology economically viable.[33] Japan estimates that there are at least 1.1 trillion cubic
meters of methane trapped in the Nankai Trough, enough to meet the countrys needs for more than ten years.[33]
China announced in May 2017 a breakthrough for mining methane clathrates, when they extracted methane from
hydrates in the South China Sea.[4]

6.3.4 Hydrates in natural gas processing

Routine operations

Methane clathrates (hydrates) are also commonly formed during natural gas production operations, when liquid water
is condensed in the presence of methane at high pressure. It is known that larger hydrocarbon molecules like ethane
and propane can also form hydrates, although longer molecules (butanes, pentanes) cannot t into the water cage
structure and tend to destabilise the formation of hydrates.
Once formed, hydrates can block pipeline and processing equipment. They are generally then removed by reducing
the pressure, heating them, or dissolving them by chemical means (methanol is commonly used). Care must be taken
to ensure that the removal of the hydrates is carefully controlled, because of the potential for the hydrate to undergo
a phase transition from the solid hydrate to release water and gaseous methane at a high rate when the pressure is
reduced. The rapid release of methane gas in a closed system can result in a rapid increase in pressure.[5]
It is generally preferable to prevent hydrates from forming or blocking equipment. This is commonly achieved by
removing water, or by the addition of ethylene glycol (MEG) or methanol, which act to depress the temperature at
which hydrates will form (i.e. common antifreeze). In recent years, development of other forms of hydrate inhibitors
have been developed, like Kinetic Hydrate Inhibitors (which by far slow the rate of hydrate formation) and anti-
agglomerates, which do not prevent hydrates forming, but do prevent them sticking together to block equipment.

Eect of hydrate phase transition during deep water drilling

When drilling in oil- and gas-bearing formations submerged in deep water, the reservoir gas may ow into the well
bore and form gas hydrates owing to the low temperatures and high pressures found during deep water drilling. The
gas hydrates may then ow upward with drilling mud or other discharged uids. When the hydrates rise, the pressure
in the annulus decreases and the hydrates dissociate into gas and water. The rapid gas expansion ejects uid from the
well, reducing the pressure further, which leads to more hydrate dissociation and further uid ejection. The resulting
violent expulsion of uid from the annulus is one potential cause or contributor to the kick.[34] (Kicks, which can
cause blowouts, typically do not involve hydrates: see Blowout: formation kick).
Measures which reduce the risk of hydrate formation include:

High ow-rates, which limit the time for hydrate formation in a volume of uid, thereby reducing the kick

Careful measuring of line ow to detect incipient hydrate plugging.[34]

Additional care in measuring when gas production rates are low and the possibility of hydrate formation is
higher than at relatively high gas ow rates.[34]

Monitoring of well casing after it is "shut in" (isolated) may indicate hydrate formation. Following shut in,
the pressure rises while gas diuses through the reservoir to the bore hole; the rate of pressure rise exhibit a
reduced rate of increase while hydrates are forming.[34]

Additions of energy (e.g., the energy released by setting cement used in well completion) can raise the tem-
perature and convert hydrates to gas, producing a kick.

Concept diagram of oil containment domes, forming upsidedown funnels in order to pipe oil to surface ships. The sunken oil rig is

Blowout recovery

At sucient depths, methane complexes directly with water to form methane hydrates, as was observed during the
Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. BP engineers developed and deployed a subsea oil recovery system over oil
spilling from a deepwater oil well 5,000 feet (1,500 m) below sea level to capture escaping oil. This involved placing
a 125-tonne (276,000 lb) dome over the largest of the well leaks and piping it to a storage vessel on the surface.[35]
This option had the potential to collect some 85% of the leaking oil but was previously untested at such depths.[35]
BP deployed the system on May 78, but it failed due to buildup of methane clathrate inside the dome; with its low
density of approximately 0.9 g/cm3 the methane hydrates accumulated in the dome, adding buoyancy and obstructing

6.3.5 Methane clathrates and climate change

Main article: Clathrate gun hypothesis

See also: Permafrost

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Despite its short atmospheric half life of 12 years, methane has a global
warming potential of 86 over 20 years and 34 over 100 years (IPCC, 2013). The sudden release of large amounts
of natural gas from methane clathrate deposits has been hypothesized as a cause of past and possibly future climate
changes. Events possibly linked in this way are the Permian-Triassic extinction event and the Paleocene-Eocene
Thermal Maximum.
Climate scientists like James E. Hansen predict that methane clathrates in the permafrost regions will be released
because of global warming, unleashing powerful feedback forces which may cause runaway climate change that
cannot be halted.
Research carried out in 2008 in the Siberian Arctic found millions of tonnes of methane being released[37][38][39][40][41]
with concentrations in some regions reaching up to 100 times above normal.[42]
In their Correspondence in the September 2013 Nature Geoscience journal, Vonk and Gustafsson cautioned that the
most probable mechanism to strengthen global warming is large-scale thawing of Arctic permafrost which will release

methane clathrate into the atmosphere.[43] While performing research in July in plumes in the East Siberian Arctic
Ocean, Gustafsson and Vonk were surprised by the high concentration of methane.[44]
In 2014 based on their research on the northern United States Atlantic marine continental margins from Cape Hatteras
to Georges Bank, a group of scientists from the US Geological Survey, the Department of Geosciences, Mississippi
State University, Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University and Earth Resources Technology, claimed
there was widespread leakage of methane.[45][46]
Scientists from the Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate (CAGE), Environment and Climate at the Arctic University of
Norway, published a study in June 2017, describing over a hundred ocean sediment craters, some 3,000 meters
wide and up to 300 meters deep, formed due to explosive eruptions, attributed to destabilizing methane hydrates,
following ice-sheet retreat during the last glacial period, around 12,000 years ago, a few centuries after the Blling-
Allerd warming. These areas around the Barents Sea, still seep methane today, and still existing bulges with methane
reservoirs could eventually have the same fate.[47]

6.3.6 Natural gas hydrates versus liquied natural gas in transportation

Since methane clathrates are stable at a higher temperature than liqueed natural gas (LNG) (20 vs 162 C), there
is some interest in converting natural gas into clathrates rather than liquifying it when transporting it by seagoing
vessels. A signicant advantage would be that the production of natural gas hydrate (NGH) from natural gas at the
terminal would require a smaller refrigeration plant and less energy than LNG would. Osetting this, for 100 tonnes
of methane transported, 750 tonnes of methane hydrate would have to be transported; since this would require a ship
of 7.5 times greater displacement, or require more ships, it is unlikely to prove economically feasible.

6.3.7 See also

Future energy development

Long-term eects of global warming

The Swarm (Schtzing novel)

6.3.8 Notes
[1] The average methane clathrate hydrate composition is 1 mole of methane for every 5.75 moles of water. The observed
density is around 0.9 g/cm3 .[5] For one mole of methane, which has a molar mass of about 16.043 g (see Methane), we have
5.75 moles of water, with a molar mass of about 18.015 g (see Properties of water), so together for each mole of methane
the clathrate complex has a mass of 16.043 g + 5.75 18.015 g 119.631 g. The fractional contribution of methane to
the mass is then equal to 16.043 g / 119.631 g 0.1341. The density is around 0.9 g/cm3 , so one litre of methane clathrate
has a mass of around 0.9 kg, and the mass of the methane contained therein is then about 0.1341 0.9 kg 0.1207 kg.
At a density as a gas of 0.716 kg/m3 (at 0 C; see the info box at Methane), this comes to a volume of 0.1207 / 0.716 m3
= 0.1686 m3 = 168.6 L.

6.3.9 References
[1] Gas Hydrate: What is it?, U.S. Geological Survey, 31 August 2009, archived from the original on June 14, 2012, retrieved
28 December 2014

[2] Roald Homann (2006). Old Gas, New Gas. American Scientist. 94 (1): 1618. doi:10.1511/2006.57.3476.

[3] Lthi, D; Le Floch, M; Bereiter, B; Blunier, T; Barnola, JM; Siegenthaler, U; Raynaud, D; Jouzel, J; et al. (2008). High
resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000800,000 years before present. Nature. 453 (7193): 379382.
Bibcode:2008Natur.453..379L. PMID 18480821. doi:10.1038/nature06949. Retrieved 28 December 2014.

[4] China claims breakthrough in mining 'ammable ice'". BBC. May 19, 2017.

[5] Max, Michael D. (2003). Natural Gas Hydrate in Oceanic and Permafrost Environments. Kluwer Academic Publishers. p.
62. ISBN 0-7923-6606-9.

[6] Dec, Steven F.; Bowler, Kristin E.; Stadterman, Laura L.; Koh, Carolyn A.; Sloan, E. Dendy (2006). Direct Mea-
sure of the Hydration Number of Aqueous Methane. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128 (2): 414415. PMID 16402820.
doi:10.1021/ja055283f. Note: the number 20 is called a magic number equal to the number found for the amount of
water molecules surrounding a hydronium ion.

[7] Guggenheim, S; Koster van Groos AF (2003). New gas-hydrate phase: Synthesis and stability of clay-methane hydrate in-
tercalate. Geology. 31 (7): 653656. Bibcode:2003Geo....31..653G. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2003)031<0653:NGPSAS>2.0.CO;2.

[8] Vanneste, M.; De Batist, M; Golmshtok, A; Kremlev, A; Versteeg, W; et al. (2001). Multi-frequency seismic study of gas
hydrate-bearing sediments in Lake Baikal, Siberia. Marine Geology. 172: 121. doi:10.1016/S0025-3227(00)00117-1.

[9] Kvenvolden, K. (1995). A review of the geochemistry of methane in natural gas hydrate (PDF). Organic Geochemistry.
23 (1112): 9971008. doi:10.1016/0146-6380(96)00002-2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 December 2014.
Retrieved 28 December 2014.

[10] Ruppel, Carolyn, Methane Hydrates and the Future of Natural Gas (PDF), Gas Hydrates Project, Woods Hole, MA: U.S.
Geological Survey, archived from the original (PDF) on 6 November 2015, retrieved 28 December 2014

[11] Dickens, GR; Paull CK; Wallace P (1997). Direct measurement of in situ methane quantities in a large gas-hydrate
reservoir. Nature. 385 (6615): 426428. Bibcode:1997Natur.385..426D. doi:10.1038/385426a0.

[12] Leslie R. Sautter. A Prole of the Southeast U.S. Continental Margin. NOAA Ocean Explorer. National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Retrieved 3 January 2015.

[13] Kvenvolden, 1998(incomplete ref)

[14] Kvenvolden, 1993(incomplete ref)

[15] Dickens 1995 (incomplete ref)

[16] Matsumoto, R. (1995). Causes of the 13 C anomalies of carbonates and a new paradigm 'Gas Hydrate Hypothesis".
Jour. Geol. Soc. Japan. 101 (11): 902924. doi:10.5575/geosoc.101.902.

[17] Matsumoto, R.; Watanabe, Y.; Satoh, M.; Okada, H.; Hiroki, Y.; Kawasaki, M. (1996). ODP Leg 164 Shipboard Scientic
Party. Distribution and occurrence of marine gas hydrates - preliminary results of ODP Leg 164: Blake Ridge Drilling.
J. Geol. Soc. Japan. 102 (11): 932944. doi:10.5575/geosoc.102.932.

[18] Clathrates - little known components of the global carbon cycle. Ethomas.web.wesleyan.edu. 2000-04-13. Retrieved

[19] Domes of frozen methane may be warning signs for new blow-outs. Phys.org. 2017.

[20] Milkov, AV (2004). Global estimates of hydrate-bound gas in marine sediments: how much is really out there?". Earth-
Science Reviewss. 66 (34): 183197. Bibcode:2004ESRv...66..183M. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2003.11.002.

[21] Tromuk, A. A.; N. V. Cherskiy; V. P. Tsarev (1973). "[Accumulation of natural gases in zones of hydrateformation in
the hydrosphere]". Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR (in Russian). 212: 931934.

[22] USGS World Energy Assessment Team, 2000. US Geological Survey world petroleum assessment 2000description and
results. USGS Digital Data Series DDS-60.

[23] MacDonald, G. J. (1990). Role of methane clathrates in past and future climates. Climatic Change. 16: 247281.

[24] Buett, Bruce; David Archer (15 November 2004). Global inventory of methane clathrate: sensitivity to changes in
the deep ocean (PDF). Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 227 (34): 185199. Bibcode:2004E&PSL.227..185B.
doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2004.09.005. Preferred ... global estimate of 318 g ... Estimates of the global inventory of methane
clathrate may exceed 1019 g of carbon

[25] Thomas, Brodie (2008-03-31). Researchers extract methane gas from under permafrost. Northern News Services.
Archived from the original on 2008-06-08. Retrieved 2008-06-16.

[26] Geological Survey of Canada, Mallik 2002. Natural Resources Canada. 2007-12-20. Archived from the original on June
29, 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-21.

[27] Max, Michael D.; Johnson, Arthur H. (2016-01-01). Exploration and Production of Oceanic Natural Gas Hydrate. Springer
International Publishing. pp. 3973. ISBN 9783319433844. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-43385-1_2.

[28] Mann, Charles C. (April 2013). What If We Never Run Out of Oil?". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 23 May 2013.

[29] Agreements to boost bilateral ties. Chinadaily.com.cn. 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2013-03-14.

[30] Norske forskere bak energirevolusjon, VB nett, in Norwegian. Vg.no. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
[31] The National Methane Hydrates R&D Program DOE/NETL Methane Hydrate Projects. Netl.doe.gov. 2013-02-19.
Retrieved 2013-03-14.
[32] Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate in world rst. BBC. March 12, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
[33] Hiroko Tabuchi (March 12, 2013). An Energy Coup for Japan: Flammable Ice". New York Times. Retrieved March 14,
[34] Wang, Zhiyuan; Sun Baojiang (2009). Annular multiphase ow behavior during deep water drilling and the eect of
hydrate phase transition. Petroleum Science. 6: 5763. doi:10.1007/s12182-009-0010-3.
[35] Winning, David (2010-05-03). US Oil Spill Response Team: Plan To Deploy Dome In 68 Days. Wall Street Journal.
Dow Jones & Company. Archived from the original on May 6, 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
[36] Cressey, y Daniel (10 May 2010). Giant dome fails to x Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. Nature.com. Retrieved 10
May 2010.
[37] Compare: Methane bubbling through seaoor creates undersea hills, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 5 Febru-
ary 2007
[38] Translation of a blog entry by rjan Gustafsson, expedition research leader, 2 September 2008
[39] Shakhova, N.; Semiletov, I.; Salyuk, A.; Kosmach, D.; Bel'cheva, N. (2007). Methane release on the Arctic East Siberian
shelf (PDF). Geophysical Research Abstracts. 9: 01071.
[40] N. Shakhova, I. Semiletov, A. Salyuk, D. Kosmach (2008), Anomalies of methane in the atmosphere over the East Siberian
shelf: Is there any sign of methane leakage from shallow shelf hydrates?, EGU General Assembly 2008, Geophysical
Research Abstracts, 10, EGU2008-A-01526
[41] Volker Mrasek, A Storehouse of Greenhouse Gases Is Opening in Siberia, Spiegel International Online, 17 April 2008
[42] Connor, Steve (September 23, 2008). Exclusive: The methane time bomb. The Independent. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
[43] Vonk, Jorien E.; Gustafsson, rjan (September 2013), Permafrostcarbon complexities, Nature Geoscience, 6, doi:10.1038/ngeo1937
[44] Kimantas, Janet (December 2014), More Methane Surprises: High concentrations of methane plumes found rising from
the oor of the East Siberian Arctic Ocean and along the US Atlantic Coast, Alternatives Journal, Waterloo, Ontario,
retrieved 28 December 2014
[45] Skarke, A.; Ruppel, C.; Kodis, M.; Brothers, D.; Lobecker, E. (21 July 2014). Widespread methane leakage from the
sea oor on the northern US Atlantic margin. Nature Geoscience. 7: 657661. doi:10.1038/ngeo2232. Retrieved 28
December 2014.
[46] McGrath, Matt (24 August 2014). Widespread methane leakage from ocean oor o US coast. BBC. Retrieved 24
August 2014.
[47] Like champagne bottles being opened: Scientists document an ancient Arctic methane explosion. The Washington Post.
June 1, 2017.

6.3.10 External links

Are there deposits of methane under the sea? Will global warming release the methane to the atmosphere?
Methane seeps from Arctic sea bed (BBC)
Bubbles of warming, beneath the ice (LA Times 2009)


Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE)

Center for Hydrate Research
USGS Geological Research Activities with U.S. Minerals Management Service - Methane Gas Hydrates
Carbon Neutral Methane Energy Production from Hydrate Deposits (Columbia University)


USGS Gas Hydrates Lab (2012)

Ancient Methane Explosions Created Ocean Craters (2017)

6.4 Reclaimed water

Sequence of reclamation from left: raw sewage, plant euent, and nally reclaimed water (after several treatment steps)

Reclaimed or recycled water (also called wastewater reuse or water reclamation) is the process of converting
wastewater into water that can be reused for other purposes. Reuse may include irrigation of gardens and agricultural
elds or replenishing surface water and groundwater (i.e., groundwater recharge). Reused water may also be directed
toward fullling certain needs in residences (e.g. toilet ushing), businesses, and industry, and could even be treated
to reach drinking water standards. This last option is called either direct potable reuse or indirect potable reuse,
depending on the approach used. Colloquially, the term toilet to tap also refers to potable reuse.
Reclaiming water for reuse applications instead of using freshwater supplies can be a water-saving measure. When
used water is eventually discharged back into natural water sources, it can still have benets to ecosystems, improving
streamow, nourishing plant life and recharging aquifers, as part of the natural water cycle.[1]
Wastewater reuse is a long-established practice used for irrigation, especially in arid countries. Reusing wastewater
as part of sustainable water management allows water to remain as an alternative water source for human activities.
This can reduce demand and alleviate pressures on groundwater and other natural water bodies.[2]

6.4.1 Background
Achieving more sustainable sanitation and wastewater management will require emphasis on actions linked to resource
management, such as wastewater reuse or excreta reuse that will keep valuable resources available for productive
uses.[2] This in turn supports human wellbeing and broader sustainability.
Simply stated, reclaimed water is water that is used more than one time before it passes back into the natural water
cycle. Advances in wastewater treatment technology allow communities to reuse water for many dierent purposes.
The water is treated dierently depending upon the source and use of the water and how it gets delivered.

Irrigation water is pumped from this tank which stores euent received from a constructed wetland in Haran-Al-Awamied, Syria.

Cycled repeatedly through the planetary hydrosphere, all water on Earth is recycled water, but the terms recycled
water or reclaimed water typically mean wastewater sent from a home or business through a sewer system to a
wastewater treatment plant, where it is treated to a level consistent with its intended use.
The World Health Organization has recognized the following principal driving forces for wastewater reuse:[3][4]

1. increasing water scarcity and stress,

2. increasing populations and related food security issues,

3. increasing environmental pollution from improper wastewater disposal, and

4. increasing recognition of the resource value of wastewater, excreta and greywater.

Water is a limiting resource, and the pressure exerted on surface and groundwater resources should be reduced or at
best maintained, rather than increased, as the human population and industrial development increase. Water recycling
and reuse is thus of increasing importance, not only in arid regions but also in cities and contaminated environments.[5]
Already, the groundwater aquifers that are used by over half of the world population are being over-drafted.[6] Reuse
will continue to increase as the worlds population becomes increasingly urbanized and concentrated near coastlines,
where local freshwater supplies are limited or are available only with large capital expenditure.[7][8] Large quantities of
freshwater can be saved by wastewater reuse and recycling, reducing environmental pollution and improving carbon
footprint.[5] Reuse can be an alternative water supply option.

6.4.2 Types and applications

Most of the uses of water reclamation are non potable uses such as: washing cars, ushing toilets, cooling water
for power plants, concrete mixing, articial lakes, irrigation for golf courses and public parks, and for hydraulic

fracturing. Where applicable, systems run a dual piping system to keep the recycled water separate from the potable
The main reclaimed water applications in the world are shown below:[9][10][11]

De facto wastewater reuse (unplanned potable reuse)

De facto, unacknowledged or unplanned potable reuse refers to a situation where reuse of treated wastewater is, in
fact, practiced but is not ocially recognized.[12] For example, a wastewater treatment plant from one city may be
discharging euents to a river which is used as a drinking water supply for another city downstream.
Unplanned Indirect Potable Use[13] has existed for a long time. Large towns on the River Thames upstream of London
(Oxford, Reading, Swindon, Bracknell) discharge their treated sewage (non-potable water) into the Thames, which
supplies water to London downstream. In the United States, the Mississippi River serves as both the destination of
sewage treatment plant euent and the source of potable water.

Urban reuse

Unrestricted: The use of reclaimed water for non-potable applications in municipal settings, where public
access is not restricted.

Restricted: The use of reclaimed water for non-potable applications in municipal settings, where public access
is controlled or restricted by physical or institutional barriers, such as fencing, advisory signage, or temporal
access restriction.[14]

Agricultural reuse

Further information: Reuse of excreta

There are benets of using recycled water for irrigation, including the lower cost compared to some other sources
and consistency of supply regardless of season, climatic conditions and associated water restrictions. When reclaimed
water is used for irrigation in agriculture, the nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) content of the treated wastewater
has the benet of acting as a fertilizer. This can make the reuse of excreta contained in sewage attractive.[3]
The irrigation water can be used in dierent ways on dierent crops:

Food crops to be eaten raw: crops which are intended for human consumption to be eaten raw or unprocessed.

Processed food crops: crops which are intended for human consumption not to be eaten raw but after treatment
process (i.e. cooked, industrially processed).

Non-food crops: crops which are not intended for human consumption (e.g. pastures, forage, ber, ornamental,
seed, forest and turf crops).[15]

In developing countries, agriculture is increasingly using untreated wastewater for irrigation - often in an unsafe
manner. Cities provide lucrative markets for fresh produce, so are attractive to farmers. However, because agriculture
has to compete for increasingly scarce water resources with industry and municipal users, there is often no alternative
for farmers but to use water polluted with urban waste directly to water their crops.
There can be signicant health hazards related to using untreated wastewater in agriculture. Wastewater from cities
can contain a mixture of chemical and biological pollutants. In low-income countries, there are often high levels of
pathogens from excreta. In emerging nations, where industrial development is outpacing environmental regulation,
there are increasing risks from inorganic and organic chemicals. The World Health Organization, in collaboration with
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environmental Program
(UNEP), has developed guidelines for safe use of wastewater in 2006.[3] These guidelines advocate a multiple-barrier
approach to wastewater use, for example by encouraging farmers to adopt various risk-reducing behaviours. These
include ceasing irrigation a few days before harvesting to allow pathogens to die o in the sunlight, applying water
carefully so it does not contaminate leaves likely to be eaten raw, cleaning vegetables with disinfectant or allowing
fecal sludge used in farming to dry before being used as a human manure.[16]

Environmental reuse

The use of reclaimed water to create, enhance, sustain, or augment water bodies including wetlands, aquatic habitats,
or stream ow is called environmental reuse.[14] For example, constructed wetlands fed by wastewater provide both
wastewater treatment and habitats for ora and fauna.

Industrial reuse

The use of reclaimed water to recharge aquifers that are not used as a potable water source.[14]

Planned potable reuse

Planned potable reuse is publicly acknowledged as an intentional project to recycle water for drinking water. How
potable reused water is delivered determines if it is called Indirect Potable Reuse or Direct Potable Reuse. Both
forms of reuse commonly involve a more formal public process and public consultation program than is the case with
de facto or unacknowledged reuse. In indirect potable reuse applications, the reclaimed wastewater is used directly
or mixed with other sources.[14][17]
Direct potable reuse is also called toilet to tap.
Some water agencies reuse highly treated euent from municipal wastewater or resource recovery plants as a reliable,
drought proof source of drinking water. By using advanced purication processes, they produce water that meets all
applicable drinking water standards. System reliability and frequent monitoring and testing are imperative to them
meeting stringent controls.
The water needs of a community, water sources, public health regulations, costs, and the types of water infrastructure
in place, such as distribution systems, man-made reservoirs, or natural groundwater basins, determine if and how
reclaimed water can be part of the drinking water supply. Some communities reuse water to replenish groundwater
basins. Others put it into surface water reservoirs. In these instances the reclaimed water is blended with other water
supplies and/or sits in storage for a certain amount of time before it is drawn out and gets treated again at a water
treatment or distribution system. In some communities, the reused water is put directly into pipelines that go to a
water treatment plant or distribution system.
Modern technologies such as reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection are commonly used when reclaimed water
will be mixed with the drinking water supply.

Indirect potable reuse Indirect potable reuse means the water is delivered to you indirectly. After it is puried,
the reused water blends with other supplies and/or sits a while in some sort of storage, man-made or natural, before
it gets delivered to a pipeline that leads to a water treatment plant or distribution system. That storage could be a
groundwater basin or a surface water reservoir.
Some municipalities are using and others are investigating Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) of reclaimed water. For ex-
ample, reclaimed water may be pumped into (subsurface recharge) or percolated down to (surface recharge) ground-
water aquifers, pumped out, treated again, and nally used as drinking water. This technique may also be referred
to as groundwater recharging. This includes slow processes of further multiple purication steps via the layers of
earth/sand (absorption) and microora in the soil (biodegradation).
IPR or even unplanned potable use of reclaimed wastewater exists in many countries, where the latter is discharged
into groundwater to hold back saline intrusion in coastal aquifers. IPR has generally included some type of environ-
mental buer, but conditions in certain areas have created an urgent need for more direct alternatives.[18]

Direct potable reuse Direct potable reuse means the reused water is put directly into pipelines that go to a water
treatment plant or distribution system. Direct potable reuse may occur with or without engineered storage such as
underground or above ground tanks.[14]
In a Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) scheme, water is put directly into pipelines that go to a water treatment plant or
distribution system. Direct potable reuse may occur with or without engineered storage such as underground or
above ground tanks. In other words, DPR is the introduction of reclaimed water derived from urban wastewater after
extensive treatment and monitoring to assure that strict water quality requirements are met at all times, directly into
a municipal water supply system.

Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) IPR occurs through the augmentation of drinking water supplies with urban
wastewater treated to a level suitable for IPR followed by an environmental buer (e.g. rivers, dams, aquifers, etc.)
that precedes drinking water treatment. In this case, urban wastewater passes through a series of treatment steps that
encompasses membrane ltration and separation processes (e.g. MF, UF and RO), followed by an advanced chemical
oxidation process (e.g. UV, UV+H2 O2 , ozone).[14]

Reuse in space

Wastewater reclamation can be especially important in relation to human spaceight. In 1998, NASA announced
it had built a human waste reclamation bioreactor designed for use in the International Space Station and a manned
Mars mission. Human urine and feces are input into one end of the reactor and pure oxygen, pure water, and compost
(humanure) are output from the other end. The soil could be used for growing vegetables, and the bioreactor also
produces electricity.[19][20]
Aboard the International Space Station, astronauts have been able to drink recycled urine due to the introduction
of the ECLSS system. The system costs $250 million and has been working since May 2009. The system recycles
wastewater and urine back into potable water used for drinking, food preparation, and oxygen generation. This cuts
back on the need for resupplying the space station so often.[21]

6.4.3 Benets
Water/wastewater reuse, as an alternative water source, can provide signicant economic, social and environmental
benets, which are key motivators for implementing such reuse programmes. Specically, in agriculture, irrigation
with wastewater may contribute to improve production yields, reduce the ecological footprint and promote socioe-
conomic benets.[22] These benets include:[23][14]

Increased water availability

Drinking water substitution - keep drinking water for drinking and reclaimed water for non-drinking use (i.e.
industry, cleaning, irrigation, domestic uses, toilet ushing, etc.)

Reduced over-abstraction of surface and groundwater

Reduced energy consumption associated with production, treatment, and distribution of water compared to
using deep groundwater resources, water importation or desalination

Reduced nutrient loads to receiving waters (i.e. rivers, canals and other surface water resources)

Reduced manufacturing costs of using high quality reclaimed water

Increased agricultural production (i.e. crop yields)

Reduced application of fertilizers (i.e. conservation of nutrients, reducing the need for articial fertilizer (e.g.
soil nutrition by the nutrients existing in the treated euents))

Enhanced environmental protection by restoration of streams, wetlands and ponds

Increased employment and local economy (e.g. tourism, agriculture).

6.4.4 Design considerations


Nonpotable reclaimed water is often distributed with a dual piping network that keeps reclaimed water pipes com-
pletely separate from potable water pipes.
In many cities using reclaimed water, it is now in such demand that consumers are only allowed to use it on assigned
days. Some cities that previously oered unlimited reclaimed water at a at rate are now beginning to charge citizens
by the amount they use.

Cover for reclaimed water valve, San Francisco Water District

Treatment processes

Main article: Sewage treatment

For many types of reuse applications wastewater must pass through numerous sewage treatment process steps before
it can be used. Steps might include screening, primary settling, biological treatment, tertiary treatment (for example
reverse osmosis), disinfection.
There are several technologies used to treat wastewater for reuse. A combination of these technologies can meet
strict treatment standards and make sure that the processed water is hygienically safe, meaning free from bacteria and
viruses. The following are some of the typical technologies: Ozonation, ultraltration, aerobic treatment (membrane
bioreactor), forward osmosis, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation.
Wastewater is generally treated to only secondary level treatment when used for irrigation.
A pump station distributes reclaimed water to users around the city. This may include golf courses, agricultural uses,
cooling towers, or in land lls.

A lavender-colored pipeline carrying nonpotable water in a dual piping system in Mountain View, California, U.S.

Alternative options

Rather than treating wastewater for reuse purposes, other options can achieve similar eects of freshwater savings:

Greywater reuse systems - at a household level, treated or untreated greywater may be used to for ush toilets
or to water the garden.

Rainwater harvesting and stormwater recovery- Urban design systems which incorporate rainwater harvesting
and reduce runo are known as Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) in Australia, Low Impact Development
(LID) in the United States and Sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) in the United Kingdom.
Seawater desalination - an energy-intensive process where salt and other minerals are removed from seawater
to produce potable water for drinking and irrigation, typically through membrane ltration (reverse-osmosis),
and steam-distillation.


The cost of reclaimed water exceeds that of potable water in many regions of the world, where a fresh water supply
is plentiful. However, reclaimed water is usually sold to citizens at a cheaper rate to encourage its use. As fresh water
supplies become limited from distribution costs, increased population demands, or climate change reducing sources,
the cost ratios will evolve also. The evaluation of reclaimed water needs to consider the entire water supply system,
as it may bring important value of exibility into the overall system [24]
Reclaimed water systems usually require a dual piping network, often with additional storage tanks, which adds to
the costs of the system.

Barriers to implementation

Full-scale implementation and operation of water reuse schemes still face regulatory, economic, social and
institutional challenges.[25]
Economic viability of water reuse schemes.[25]
Costs of water quality monitoring and identication of contaminants.[26]
Full cost recovery from water reuse schemes - lack of nancial water pricing systems comparable to already
subsidized conventional treatment plants.[27]

6.4.5 Health aspects

Reclaimed water is considered safe when appropriately used. Reclaimed water planned for use in recharging aquifers
or augmenting surface water receives adequate and reliable treatment before mixing with naturally occurring water
and undergoing natural restoration processes. Some of this water eventually becomes part of drinking water supplies.
A water quality study published in 2009 compared the water quality dierences of reclaimed/recycled water, surface
water, and groundwater.[28] Results indicate that reclaimed water, surface water, and groundwater are more similar
than dissimilar with regard to constituents. The researchers tested for 244 representative constituents typically found
in water. When detected, most constituents were in the parts per billion and parts per trillion range. DEET (a bug
repellant), and Caeine were found in all water types and virtually in all samples. Triclosan (in anti-bacterial soap &
toothpaste) was found in all water types, but detected in higher levels (parts per trillion) in reclaimed water than in
surface or groundwater. Very few hormones/steroids were detected in samples, and when detected were at very low
levels. Haloacetic acids (a disinfection by-product) were found in all types of samples, even groundwater. The largest
dierence between reclaimed water and the other waters appears to be that reclaimed water has been disinfected and
thus has disinfection by-products (due to chlorine use).
A 2005 study titled Irrigation of Parks, Playgrounds, and Schoolyards with Reclaimed Water found that there had
been no incidences of illness or disease from either microbial pathogens or chemicals, and the risks of using reclaimed
water for irrigation are not measurably dierent from irrigation using potable water.[29]
A 2012 study conducted by the National Research Council in the United States of America found that the risk of
exposure to certain microbial and chemical contaminants from drinking reclaimed water does not appear to be any
higher than the risk experienced in at least some current drinking water treatment systems, and may be orders of
magnitude lower.[30] This report recommends adjustments to the federal regulatory framework that could enhance
public health protection for both planned and unplanned (or de facto) reuse and increase public condence in water
Many humans associate a feeling of disgust with reclaimed water and 13% of a survey group said they would not even
sip it.[31] Nonetheless, the main health risk for potable use of reclaimed water is the potential for pharmaceutical and

other household chemicals or their derivatives (Environmental persistent pharmaceutical pollutants) to persist in this
water.[32] This would be less of a concern if human excreta was kept out of sewage by using dry toilets or systems
that treat blackwater separately from greywater.
To address these concerns about the source water, reclaimed water providers use multi-barrier treatment processes
and constant monitoring to ensure that reclaimed water is safe and treated properly for the intended end use.

6.4.6 Environmental aspects

There is debate about possible health and environmental eects. To address these concerns, A Risk Assessment
Study of potential health risks of recycled water and comparisons to conventional Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care
Product (PPCP) exposures was conducted by the WateReuse Research Foundation. For each of four scenarios in
which people come into contact with recycled water used for irrigation - children on the playground, golfers, and
landscape, and agricultural workers - the ndings from the study indicate that it could take anywhere from a few years
to millions of years of exposure to nonpotable recycled water to reach the same exposure to PPCPs that we get in a
single day through routine activities.
Using reclaimed water for non-potable uses saves potable water for drinking, since less potable water will be used for
non-potable uses.[33]
It sometimes contains higher levels of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and oxygen which may somewhat help
fertilize garden and agricultural plants when used for irrigation.
The usage of water reclamation decreases the pollution sent to sensitive environments. It can also enhance wetlands,
which benets the wildlife depending on that eco-system. It also helps to stop the chances of drought as recycling
of water reduces the use of fresh water supply from underground sources. For instance, The San Jose/Santa Clara
Water Pollution Control Plant instituted a water recycling program to protect the San Francisco Bay areas natural
salt water marshes.[33]
The main potential risks that are associated with reclaimed wastewater reuse for irrigation purposes, when the treat-
ment is not adequate are the following:[34][35]

1. contamination of the food chain with microcontaminants, pathogens (i.e. bacteria, viruses, protozoa, helminths),
or antibiotic resistance determinants;

2. soil salinization and accumulation of various unknown constituents that might adversely aect agricultural

3. distribution of the indigenous soil microbial communities;

4. alteration of the physicochemical and microbiological properties of the soil and contribution to the accumu-
lation of chemical/biological contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, chemicals (i.e. boron, nitrogen, phosphorus,
chloride, sodium, pesticides/herbicides), natural chemicals (i.e. hormones), contaminants of emerging con-
cern (CECs) (i.e. pharmaceuticals and their metabolites, personal care products, household chemicals and
food additives and their transformation products), etc.) in it and subsequent uptake by plants and crops;

5. excessive growth of algae and vegetation in canals carrying wastewater (i.e. eutrophication);

6. groundwater quality degradation by the various reclaimed water contaminants, migrating and accumulating in
the soil and aquifers.

6.4.7 History

Further information: History of water supply and sanitation and Ecological sanitation History

Wastewater reuse (planned or unplanned) is an ancient practice, which has been applied since the dawn of human
history, and is closely connected to the development of sanitation provision.[36]


In the U.S., the Clean Water Act of 1972 mandated elimination of the discharge of untreated waste from municipal
and industrial sources to make water safe for shing and recreation. The US federal government provided billions
of dollars in grants for building sewage treatment plants around the country. Modern treatment plants, usually us-
ing oxidation and/or chlorination in addition to primary and secondary treatment, were required to meet certain
Los Angeles County's sanitation districts started providing treated wastewater for landscape irrigation in parks and
golf courses in 1929. The rst reclaimed water facility in California was built at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in
1932. The Water Replenishment District of Southern California was the rst groundwater agency to obtain permitted
use of recycled water for groundwater recharge in 1962.
Orange County is located in Southern California, USA, and houses a classic example in indirect potable reuse.[38] A
large-scale articial groundwater recharge scheme exists in the area, providing a much-needed freshwater barrier to
intruding seawater.[39] Part of the injected water consists of recycled water, starting as of 1976 with Water Factory
21, which used RO and high lime to clean the water (production capacity of 19,000 m3 per day).[40] This plant was
de-commissioned in 2004 and has since made place for a new project with a higher capacity (265,000 m3 per day
with an ultimate capacity of 492,000 m3 per day), under the name of Groundwater Replenishment System.[41]

6.4.8 Guidelines and regulations

International organisations

World Health Organization (WHO): Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater (2006).[3]
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): Guidelines for municipal wastewater reuse in the Mediter-
ranean region (2005).
United Nations Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC): Proceedings on the UN-
Water project Safe use of wastewater in agriculture (2013).

European Union

The health and environmental safety conditions under which wastewater may be reused are not specically regulated
at the European Union (EU) level. There are no guidelines or regulations at EU level on water quality for water reuse
purposes. In the Water Framework Directive, reuse of water is mentioned as one of the possible measures to achieve
the Directives quality goals, however this remains a relatively vague recommendation rather than a requirement: Part
B of Annex VI refers to reuse as one of the supplementary measures which Member States within each river basin
district may choose to adopt as part of the programme of measures required under Article 11(4).[42]
Besides that, Article 12 of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive concerning the reuse of treated wastewater
states that treated wastewater shall be reused whenever appropriate, is not specic enough to promote water reuse
and it leaves too much room for interpretation as to what can be considered as an appropriate situation to reuse
treated wastewater.
Despite the lack of common water reuse criteria at the EU level, several Member States (MS) have issued their own
legislative frameworks, regulations, or guidelines for dierent water reuse applications (e.g. Cyprus, France, Greece,
Italy, and Spain).
However, after an evaluation carried out by the European Commission (EC) on the water reuse standards of several
member states it was concluded that they dier in their approach. There are important divergences among the dierent
standards regarding the permitted uses, the parameters to be monitored, and the limit values allowed. This lack of
harmonization among water reuse standards might create some trade barriers for agricultural goods irrigated with
reclaimed water. Once on the common market, the level of safety in the producing member states may be not
considered as sucient by the importing countries.[43] The most representative standards on wastewater reuse from
European member states are the following:[42]

Cyprus: Law 106 (I) 2002 Water and Soil pollution control and associated regulations (KDP 772/2003, KDP
269/2005) (Issuing Institutions: Ministry of Agriculture, Natural resources and Environment, Water Develop-
ment Department).

France: Jorf num.0153, 4 July 2014. Order of 2014, related to the use of water from treated urban wastewater
for irrigation of crops and green areas (Issuing Institutions: Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Agriculture,
Food and Fisheries, Ministry of Ecology, Energy and Sustainability).

Greece: CMD No 145116. Measures, limits and procedures for reuse of treated wastewater (Issuing Institu-
tions: Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change).

Italy: DM 185/2003. Technical measures for reuse of wastewater (Issuing Institutions: Ministry of Environ-
ment, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Public Health).

Portugal: NP 4434 2005. Reuse of reclaimed urban water for irrigation (Issuing Institutions: Portuguese
Institute for Quality).

Spain: RD 1620/2007. The legal framework for the reuse of treated wastewater (Issuing Institutions: Ministry
of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Ministry of Health).


Reclaimed water is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but the EPA has developed water
reuse guidelines that were most recently updated in 2012.[44][45] The EPA Guidelines for Water Reuse represents the
international standard for best practices in water reuse. The document was developed under a Cooperative Research
and Development Agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Agency for Inter-
national Development (USAID), and the global consultancy CDM Smith. The Guidelines provide a framework for
states to develop regulations that incorporate the best practices and address local requirements.

Other countries

Canada: Canadian guidelines for domestic reclaimed water for use in toilet and urinal ushing (2010).

China: China National Reclaimed Water Quality Standard; China National Standard GB/T 18920-2002, GB/T
19923-2005, GB/T 18921-2002, GB 20922-2007 and GB/T 19772-2005.

Israel: Ministry of Health regulation (2005).

Japan: National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management: Report of the Microbial Water Quality
Project on Treated Sewage and Reclaimed Wastewater (2008).

Jordan: Jordanian technical base n. 893/2006 Jordan water reuse management Plan (policy).

Mexico: Mexican Standard NOM-001-ECOL-1996 governing wastewater reuse in Agriculture.

South Africa Policies: The latest revision of the Water Services Act of 1997 relating to grey-water and treated
euent (Department of Water Aairs and Forestry, 2001).

Tunisia: Standard for the use of treated wastewater in agriculture (NT 106-109 of 1989) and list of crops that
can be irrigated with treated wastewater (Ministry of Agriculture, 1994).

USA National: United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Guidelines for water reuse (2012).

Australia National level Guidelines: Government of Australia (the Natural Resource Management Ministerial
Council, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council, and the Australian Health Ministers Conference
(NRMMC-EPHC-AHMC)): Guidelines for water recycling: managing health and environmental risks Phase
1, 2006.[42]

6.4.9 Examples

Further information: Water supply and sanitation in Australia


When there are droughts in Australia interest in reclaimed euent options increases. Brisbane has been seen as
a leader in this trend, and other cities and towns will review the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project once
While there are currently no full-scale direct potable reuse schemes operating in Australia, the Australian Antarctic
Division is investigating the option of installing a potable reuse scheme at its Davis research base in Antarctica. To
enhance the quality of the marine discharge from the Davis WWTP, a number of dierent, proven technologies have
been selected to be used in the future, such as ozonation, UV disinfection, chlorine, as well as UF, activated carbon
ltration and RO.[5]


Further information: Water supply and sanitation in Israel

As of 2010, Israel leads the world in the proportion of water it recycles.[47] Israel treats 80% of its sewage (400 billion
liters a year), and 100% of the sewage from the Tel Aviv metropolitan area is treated and reused as irrigation water
for agriculture and public works. As of today, all the reclaimed sewage water in Israel is used for agricultural and
land improvement purposes.


Further information: Water supply and sanitation in Namibia

An example of direct potable reuse is the case of Windhoek (Namibia, New Goreangab Water Reclamation Plant
(NGWRP)), where treated wastewater has been blended with drinking water for more than 40 years. It is based on
the multiple treatment barriers concept (i.e. pre-ozonation, enhanced coagulation/dissolved air otation/rapid sand
ltration, and subsequent ozone, biological activated carbon/granular activated carbon, ultraltration (UF), chlori-
nation) to reduce associated risks and improve the water quality.[48] The reclaimed wastewater nowadays represent
about 14% of the citys drinking water production.[49]


Further information: Water supply and sanitation in Singapore

In Singapore reclaimed water is called NEWater and is bottled directly from an advanced water purication facility for
educational and celebratory purposes. Though most of the reused water is used for high-tech industry in Singapore,
a small amount is returned to reservoirs for drinking water.
At the end of 2002, the programme - successfully branded as NEWater - had garnered a 98 per cent acceptance rate,
with 82% of respondents indicating that they would drink the reused water directly, another 16% only when mixed
with reservoir water.[50] The produced NEWater after stabilization (addition of alkaline chemicals) is in compliance
with the WHO requirements and can be piped o to its wide range of applications (e.g. reuse in industry, discharge
to a drinking water reservoir).[51] NEWater now makes up around 30% of Singapores total use, by 2060 Singapores
National Water Agency plans to triple the current NEWater capacity as to meet 50% of Singapores future water

South Africa

Further information: Water supply and sanitation in South Africa

In South Africa, the main driver for wastewater reuse is drought conditions.[5]
For example, in Beaufort West, South Africas a direct wastewater reclamation plant (WRP) for the production of
drinking water was constructed in the end of 2010, as a result of acute water scarcity (production of 2,300 m3 per
day).[53][54] The process conguration based on multi-barrier concept and includes the following treatment processes:
sand ltration, UF, two-stage RO, and permeate disinfected by ultraviolet light (UV).


Further information: Water supply and sanitation in the United States

The leaders in use of reclaimed water in the U.S. are Florida and California.[55]
In a January 2012 U.S. National Research Council report,[56] a committee of independent experts found that ex-
panding the reuse of municipal wastewater for irrigation, industrial uses, and drinking water augmentation could
signicantly increase the United States total available water resources.[57]
One example is Orange County which is located in Southern California, USA, and houses a classic example in indirect
potable reuse.[38] A large-scale articial groundwater recharge scheme exists in the area, providing a much-needed
freshwater barrier to intruding seawater.[39]

6.4.10 See also

Water conservation

6.4.11 References
[1] Bischel, H.N.; J.E. Lawrence; B.J. Halaburka; M.H. Plumlee; A.S. Bawazir; J.P. King; J.E. McCray; V.H. Resh; R.G. Luthy
(1 August 2013). Renewing Urban Streams with Recycled Water for Streamow Augmentation: Hydrologic, Water Qual-
ity, and Ecosystem Services Management. Environmental Engineering Science. 30: 455479. doi:10.1089/ees.2012.0201.
Retrieved 10 November 2013.

[2] Andersson, K., Rosemarin, A., Lamizana, B., Kvarnstrm, E., McConville, J., Seidu, R., Dickin, S. and Trimmer, C.
(2016). Sanitation, Wastewater Management and Sustainability: from Waste Disposal to Resource Recovery. Nairobi and
Stockholm: United Nations Environment Programme and Stockholm Environment Institute. ISBN 978-92-807-3488-1

[3] WHO (2006). WHO Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater - Volume IV: Excreta and grey-
water use in agriculture. World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland

[4] WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme) (2017). The United Nations World Water Development
Report 2017. Wastewater: The Untapped Resource. Paris. ISBN 978-92-3-100201-4.

[5] Burgess, Jo; Meeker, Melissa; Minton, Julie; O'Donohue, Mark (4 September 2015). International research agency per-
spectives on potable water reuse. Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. 1 (5). doi:10.1039/C5EW00165J.
ISSN 2053-1419.

[6] Direct Potable Reuse: Benets for Public Water Supplies, Agriculture, the Environment, and Energy Conservation (PDF).
Retrieved 29 July 2016.


[8] Guidelines for water reuse (PDF). USEPA. USEPA. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[9] National Water Quality Management Strategy. (PDF). Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[10] Water Recycling and Reuse: The Environmental Benets. USEPA. USEPA. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[11] Water reuse in Europe. Relevant guidelines, needs for and barriers to innovation (PDF). European Union. Retrieved 29
July 2016.

[12] Guidelines for water reuse (PDF). USEPA. USEPA. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[13] Public Utilities Board, Overseas Experiences, accessed 24 April 2007.

[14] Guidelines for water reuse (PDF). USEPA. USEPA. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[15] ISO 16075-1:2015 - Guidelines for treated wastewater use for irrigation projects -- Part 1: The basis of a reuse project
for irrigation. ISO.

[16] Wastewater use in agriculture: Not only an issue where water is scarce! International Water Management Institute, 2010.
Water Issue Brief 4

[17] Gerrity, D; Pecson, B; Trussell, R.S.; Trussell, R.R. Potable reuse treatment trains throughout the world (PDF). J. Water
Supply Res. Technol.-AQUA. 62: 321338. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[18] Michael-Kordatou, I.; Michael, C.; Duan, X.; He, X.; Dionysiou, D.D.; Mills, M.A.; Fatta-Kassinos, D. (June 2015). Dis-
solved euent organic matter: Characteristics and potential implications in wastewater treatment and reuse applications.
Water Research. 77: 213248. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2015.03.011.

[19] University of Colorado

[20] Scientic American Frontiers. Scientic American Frontiers - PBS Programs - PBS. Retrieved 12 March 2016.

[21] Astronauts Drink Recycled Urine, and Celebrate. Space.com. May 20, 2009.

[22] Irrigation with Treated Wastewater: Potential Impacts on Microbial Function and Diversity in Agricultural Soils. Springer.
Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[23] Water Reuse in Europe - Relevant guidelines, needs for and barriers to innovation. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[24] Zhang, S.X.; V. Babovic (2012). A real options approach to the design and architecture of water supply systems using
innovative water technologies under uncertainty (PDF). Journal of Hydroinformatics.

[25] Water Scarcity, a driver for water reclamation, reuse and collaboration (PDF). Retrieved 17 August 2016.

[26] Water Reuse - Environment - European Commission. ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 17 August 2016.

[27] Burgess, Jo; Meeker, Melissa; Minton, Julie; O'Donohue, Mark (2015). International research agency perspectives on
potable water reuse. Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. 1 (5): 563580. doi:10.1039/C5EW00165J.

[28] Helgeson, Tom (2009). A Reconnaissance-Level Quantitative Comparison of Reclaimed Water, Surface Water, and Ground-
water. Alexandria, VA: WateReuse Research Foundation. p. 141. ISBN 978-1-934183-12-0.

[29] Crook, James (2005). Irrigation of Parks, Playgrounds, and Schoolyards: Extent and Safety. Alexandria, VA: WateReuse
Research Foundation. p. 60. ISBN 0-9747586-3-9.

[30] Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nations Water Supply through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater. National Research
Council. 2012. ISBN 978-0-309-25749-7.

[31] Kean, Sam (Winter 2015). Waste Not, Want Not. Distillations. 1 (4): 5. Retrieved 3 January 2017.

[32] Owens, Brian (19 February 2015). Pharmaceuticals in the environment: a growing problem. The Pharmaceutical Journal.
Retrieved 3 January 2017.

[33] Water Recycling and Reuse: The Environmental Benets/". US Environment Protection Agency. 23 February 2016.
Retrieved 22 August 2016.


[35] Water Reuse in Europe - Relevant guidelines, needs for and barriers to innovation. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[36] Khouri, N; Kalbermatten, J. M.; Bartone, C. R. Reuse of wastewater in agriculture: A guide for planners (PDF). Retrieved
29 July 2016.

[37] 33 Usc 1251 seq., 1972, Federal Water Pollution Control Act, Enacted by Congress.

[38] Remaking waste as water: The governance of recycled euent for potable water supply. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[39] _Potable_Reuse_Workshop.pdf. Orange Countys groundwater replenishment system: Potable reuse for the best available
water Check |url= value (help) (PDF). Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[40] Advanced reuse: from Windhoek to Singapore and beyond, Water (PDF). Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[41] Remaking waste as water: The governance of recycled euent for potable water supply,. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[42] Alcalde Sanz, Laura; Gawlik, Bernd (1 January 2014). Water Reuse in Europe - Relevant guidelines, needs for and
barriers to innovation. Publications Oce of the European Union. Retrieved 17 August 2016.

[43] Water Reuse - Environment - European Commission. ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 17 August 2016.

[44] Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 17 August 2016.

[45] 2012 Guidelines for Water Reuse (PDF). USEPA. 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2014.

[46] Rodriguez, Clemencia; Van Buynder, Paul; Lugg, Richard; Blair, Palenque; Devine, Brian; Cook, Angus; Weinstein,
Philip (17 March 2009). Indirect Potable Reuse: A Sustainable Water Supply Alternative. International Journal of
Environmental Research and Public Health. 6 (3): 11741203. doi:10.3390/ijerph6031174.

[47] Arid Israel recycles waste water on grand scale. Retrieved 12 March 2016.

[48] Rodriguez, Clemencia; Van Buynder, Paul; Lugg, Richard; Blair, Palenque; Devine, Brian; Cook, Angus; Weinstein,
Philip (17 March 2009). Indirect Potable Reuse: A Sustainable Water Supply Alternative. International Journal of
Environmental Research and Public Health. 6 (3): 11741203. doi:10.3390/ijerph6031174.

HOEK (PDF). Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[50] Water Sensitive Cities. IWA Publishing.

[51] Singapore Public Utilities Board. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[52] Global milestones in water reuse: keys to success and trends in development. Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[53] Risk Assessment for South Africas rst direct wastewater reclamation system for drinking water production (PDF).
Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[54] Beaufort West Water Reclamation Plant: First Direct (Toilet-to-Tap) Water Reclamation Plant in South Africa (PDF).
Retrieved 29 July 2016.

[55] UF Professor: Drought Highlights Value Of Reused Water. University of Florida News. May 24, 2000.

[56] Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nations Water Supply through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater (2012) : Divi-
sion on Earth and Life Studies. Retrieved 12 March 2016.

[57] Division on Earth and Life Studies. Retrieved 12 March 2016.

Wikipedias health care articles can be viewed oine with the Medical Wikipedia app.

6.5 Seawater greenhouse

A seawater greenhouse is a greenhouse structure that enables the growth of crops in arid regions, using seawater
and solar energy. The technique involves pumping seawater (or allowing it to gravitate if below sea level) to an
arid location and then subjecting it to two processes: rst, it is used to humidify and cool the air, and second, it is
evaporated by solar heating and distilled to produce fresh water. Finally, the remaining humidied air is expelled
from the greenhouse and used to improve growing conditions for outdoor plants. The technology was introduced by
British inventor Charlie Paton in the early 1990s and is being developed by his UK company Seawater Greenhouse
Ltd. The more concentrated salt water may either be further evaporated for the production of salt and other elements,
or discharged back to the sea. The seawater greenhouse is a response to the global water crisis and peak water.

6.5.1 History
The seawater greenhouse concept was rst researched and developed in 1991 by Charlie Patons company Light
Works Ltd, now Seawater Greenhouse Ltd. The rst pilot project commenced in 1992 with the search for a test site
that was eventually found on the Canary Island of Tenerife. A prototype seawater greenhouse was assembled in the
UK and constructed on the site in Tenerife. The results from this pilot project validated the concept and demonstrated
the potential for other arid regions.[1]
The original pilot design evolved into a lower cost solution using a lighter steel structure, similar to a multi-span poly-
tunnel. This structure was designed to be cost eective and suitable for local sourcing. The design was rst tested
and validated through a second seawater greenhouse that was constructed on Al-Aryam Island, Abu Dhabi, United
Arab Emirates in 2000.[2][3] The year 2004 saw the completion of a third pilot seawater greenhouse near Muscat,
Oman[4][5][6] in collaboration with Sultan Qaboos University, providing an opportunity to develop a sustainable hor-
ticultural sector on the Batinah coast. These projects have enabled the validation of a thermodynamic simulation

model which, given appropriate meteorological data, accurately predict and quantify how the seawater greenhouse
will perform in other parts of the world.[7]
In 2010, Seawater Greenhouse built a new commercial installation in Australia. The enterprise is now independently
operating with an evolved set of technologies as Sundrop Farms Pty Ltd .[8][9]

6.5.2 Process
A seawater greenhouse uses the sun, the sea and the atmosphere to produce fresh water and cool air. The process
recreates the natural hydrological cycle within a controlled environment. The front wall of the building is a seawater
evaporator. It consists of a honeycomb lattice and faces the prevailing wind. Fans control air movement. Seawater
trickles down over the lattice, cooling and humidifying the air passing through into the planting area. Sunlight is
ltered through a specially constructed roof. The roof traps infrared heat, while allowing visible light through to
promote photosynthesis. This creates optimum growing conditions cool and humid with high light intensity. Sea-
water that has been heated in the roof passes through a second evaporator creating hot, saturated air which then ows
through a condenser. The condenser is cooled by incoming seawater. The temperature dierence causes fresh water
to condense out of the air stream. The volume of fresh water is determined by air temperature, relative humidity,
solar radiation and the airow rate. These conditions can be modeled with appropriate meteorological data, enabling
the design and process to be optimized for any suitable location.
A seawater greenhouse evaporates much more water than it condenses back into freshwater. This humid air is `lost
due to high rates of ventilation to keep the crops cool and supplied with CO2. The higher humidity exhaust air
provides some benet to the cultivation of more hardy crops downwind of the greenhouse.
This phenomenon could enable the cultivation of biofuel crops in the area surrounding the seawater greenhouse.

6.5.3 Applicability
The technique is applicable to sites in arid regions near the sea. The distance and elevation from the sea must be
evaluated considering the energy required to pump water to the site. There are numerous suitable locations on the
coasts; others are below sea level, such as the Dead Sea and the Qattara Depression, where hydro schemes have been
proposed to exploit the hydraulic pressure to generate power, e.g., Red SeaDead Sea Canal.[10][11]

6.5.4 Sundrop Farms, Australia

The seawater greenhouse technology was adopted and subsequently modied by Sundrop Farms in Port Augusta,
Australia.[12] In particular, Sundrop Farms uses a more robust desalination technique in favour of the water vapour
technique employed by Seawater Greenhouse, thus allowing them to construct larger scale facilities. This has been a
success, allowing Sundrop Farms to grow crops such as tomatoes in arid climates with only the use of salt water and
sunlight, which they use to produce heat, water, and electricity.[13] An expansion of 20 hectares was commissioned
in October 2016.[14][15]

6.5.5 Awards
The technology has won a number of awards including:

1. Power Generation & Water Solutions Innovation Award, 2009 Power Generation and Water Solutions awards,
Dubai (2009)

2. St Andrews Prize for the Environment, University of St Andrews and ConocoPhillips, (2007)

3. The Tech Award, Technology for the benet of Mankind, Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose CA, (2006)[7]

4. Global annual Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) award for Sustainability, Institution of Engineering
and Technology, (2006)

5. A special environmental award was made for the Seawater Greenhouse, which (distils) seawater for use (in
agriculture) in arid climates, Galvanizer association, (2001)

6. Design Museum Sense Award for best practice in sustainable industrial design and architecture, Design Museum,

6.5.6 See also


Water crisis

Concentrating solar power


Ecological engineering methods

Evaporation pond


Green Sahara

Open pan salt making


Peak water

Adaptation to global warming

Solar desalination

Solar humidication

6.5.7 References
[1] Seawater Greenhouse Pilot Project - Canary Islands (1994)

[2] P. A. Davies & C. Paton (2005). The Seawater Greenhouse in the United Arab Emirates: thermal modelling and evaluation
of design options. Desalination. Elsevier (173(2):103-111). Retrieved 2015-11-03.

[3] Pearce, Fred (2004). Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water In An Age Of Globalization. Island Press. pp. 199201.
Retrieved 2015-11-03.

[4] S.S. Sablania, 1, , M.F.A. Goosen, a, C. Patonb, W.H. Shayyac, H. Al-Hinaid (5 November 2003). Simulation of fresh
water production using a humidication-dehumidication seawater greenhouse. Desalination. Elsevier. 159 (Volume 159,
Issue 3): 283288. doi:10.1016/S0011-9164(03)90080-4. Retrieved 2015-11-03.

[5] M.F.A Goosena, , , , S.S Sablania, C Patonb, J Perreta, A Al-Nuaimic, I Haara, H Al-Hinaid, W.H Shayyae (November
2003). Solar energy desalination for arid coastal regions: development of a humidicationdehumidication seawater
greenhouse. Desalination. Elsevier. 75 (Volume 75, Issue 5): 413419. doi:10.1016/j.solener.2003.07.007. Retrieved

[6] N. Ghaoura, b, , , V.K. Reddya, M. Abu-Arabia (December 2011). Technology development and application of
solar energy in desalination: MEDRC contribution. Desalination. Elsevier. 15 (Volume 15, Issue 9): 44104415.
doi:10.1016/j.rser.2011.06.017. Retrieved 2015-11-03.

[7] Seawater Greenhouse wins Tech Awards (2006, Oman & Tenerife)

[8] Seawater Greenhouse Australia construction time lapse (2010)

[9] Seawater Greenhouse Australia on Southern Cross News (2010)

[10] Red SeaDead Sea Canal

[11] Pumping Power calculator - what power is needed to pump seawater to the middle of the Gobi Desert for desalination in the
SeaWater Greenhouse? - answer - not a lot, Claverton Energy blog post, accessed 2009-05-02

[12] http://www.seawatergreenhouse.com/australia.html

[13] Sundrop Farms - News

[14] FOTOS: Danske solanlg laver 17.000 tons australske tomater. Ingeniren. Retrieved 7 October 2016.

[15] Sundrop Farms - Facilities

6.5.8 External links

Sea breezer Seawater Greenhouse featured in Water Wars: ght the food crisis, Antenna exhibition, Sci-
ence Museum in London (2011)
Growing vegetables in the desert is a cinch with the help of a giant solar still that turns water from the sea into
fresh water and cool air. Fred Pearce steps inside the seawater greenhouse, NewScientist, (2002)
Engineers race to steal natures secrets. Giant wind turbines based on a seed, and desalination plant that
mimics a beetle, The Guardian (2006)

Seawater Greenhouse videos

Seawater Greenhouse: A new approach to restorative agriculture

Under the Sea-Water Greenhouses

Technologies for basic needs

Seawater Greenhouse (2013 contest)"

Seawater Greenhouse growing veggies in the desert

Seawater greenhouses: growing food in the worlds driest regions

The Sahara Forest Project a new source of fresh water, food and energy
Chapter 7

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AnomieBOT, KDS4444, Rubinbot, Jim1138, IRP, Kingpin13, Materialscientist, Citation bot, TheMathinator, Maxis ftw, DynamoD-
egsy, Quebec99, LilHelpa, Xqbot, TinucherianBot II, Spiros71, 4I7.4I7, Cureden, Capricorn42, HHahn, Gigemag76, Katyhu, Anna
Frodesiak, FlightTime, Inferno, Lord of Penguins, RadManCF, Frosted14, RibotBOT, SassoBot, Mikeycbaby, Amaury, Charvest, Dou-
los Christos, MerlLinkBot, N419BH, Verbum Veritas, Shadowjams, iedas, Belfastboy87, Dd1958, Maryhodder, FrescoBot, Tomcenc,

7.1. TEXT 129

Predator1087, Quinn d, Vinceouca, D'ohBot, Dengua, Twhair, Zencowboy27, Deen rose, BenzolBot, Brodmont, Citation bot 1, Ibnzintzo,
Pinethicket, I dream of horses, HRoestBot, Wikispaceman, King Zebu, MastiBot, Thinking of England, Serols, Fui in terra aliena, Shand-
zoo, 124eric, Full-date unlinking bot, Bgpaulus, PrinceRegentLuitpold, Mumbo-jumbophobe, Trappist the monk, GregKaye, Bundy197,
MrX, Bluest, Suusion of Yellow, Bdx, DARTH SIDIOUS 2, Maharaja9933, Mackdady8, RjwilmsiBot, NerdyScienceDude, Doc-
torgage, EmausBot, John of Reading, ILOVEPONY, Tommy2010, Dcirovic, K6ka, Djembayz, ZroBot, John Cline, Rbrandonmoore,
Jasonwilson1972, Yermi888, Monterey Bay, 12b3, Lldenke, Erianna, Slwnix, Abtalion, Bravo31, Donner60, DrexRockman, CountMac-
ula, Gcjdavid, TYelliot, DASHBotAV, Viking1808, ClueBot NG, Onano, Jack Greenmaven, MelbourneStar, Satellizer, Rachaeldez,
PeterNetsu, Ghunter3016, CopperSquare, Swallow2011, Widr, Chogg, Helpful Pixie Bot, Gus 795, Calabe1992, Bibcode Bot, Jeraphine
Gryphon, BG19bot, MusikAnimal, Marcocapelle, Dan653, Mark Arsten, Contact '97, Spacemountainmike, Raa be, Arminden, Crh23,
Michael Cockrell, SimonHong69, SFReinier, Shaun, Anbu121, Comfr, BattyBot, Desal2908, David.moreno72, Fettlemap, Cyberbot II,
Awesomeayla, Mediran, Take My Bike ... Please!, IjonTichyIjonTichy, Dexbot, Zeeyanwiki, Jaspermogg, Natuur12, FoCuSandLeArN,
Cwobeel, Will Sandberg, CuriousMind01, Lugia2453, Junvfr, Dannydied, Ryanbayona, Eyesnore, Mardavij31, Jodosma, Nathandrex,
MichaelAndersonatSpectra, Pokechu22, QPT, Wedgeline, CensoredScribe, Polentarion, Desalinfo, Bob5021, AlphaCrest, CyberXRef,
Saectar, Lagoset, Monkbot, Justin15w, 2016pearsoow, Cochandl77, BethNaught, Teddyktchan, Jayakumar RG, MrKit678, Bunny-
bear22, ToulouseKid, Itz Batman, Hatch Process, Defau7, Waelahmed0, Encyclographia, VexorAbVikipdia, BassFischer, Socs308,
KasparBot, Frostbite Zombie, Davon9981, Starstrux, Sro23, Maltrpa, Ceel88, P.rahimzade, WannaBeEditor, Sravanvicky, Vileen-
tay, Buianhkhoa304, Qzd, Huzaifa 86, Mnwxy, Jcifuentesv, GreenC bot, Null836592616034528631, Bachrach433, RainFall, Xwillisx,
Kelsey.beveridge, Tobyhorton123, Snickers Raider, Bender the Bot, Prongs14, Pgholami1, Gurdeepzsingh, Sharonova, Jeery poopy son,
Yoramcohen, Hoseini 56, Magic links bot and Anonymous: 916
Saline water Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saline_water?oldid=772427254 Contributors: Furrykef, Robbot, Rpyle731, Tothe-
barricades.tk, Sam Hocevar, Neale Monks, Vsmith, Kyknos, Soulresin, Bobo192, Smalljim, Reuben, Ricky81682, Wtshymanski, Red-
vers, Daniel Collins, Fish and karate, DVdm, Dj Capricorn, Hperlman, RussBot, Bhny, Robert McClenon, Malcolma, N. Harmonik,
Chrishmt0423, SmackBot, Miquonranger03, Octahedron80, Fromgermany, Sommers, BlackTerror, Nareek, J 1982, Bjankuloski06en~enwiki,
041744, SQGibbon, Waggers, Citicat, Ginkgo100, Eastlaw, Thatperson, Qrc2006, Alaibot, Epbr123, Sagaciousuk, Escarbot, Inks.LWC,
Z22, WolfmanSF, Dannyc77, Jcmenal, Squidonius, Honalululand, BotKung, Maxim, Ouizardus, Exert, Oxymoron83, AngelOfSad-
ness, Mx. Granger, ClueBot, Auntof6, Akane700, ChrisHodgesUK, Thingg, Deviattor, Chanakal, Addbot, FiriBot, Quasibr, Arbi-
trarily0, Yobot, Max, , The High Fin Sperm Whale, PizzaofDoom, Neurolysis, Capricorn42, Cyphoidbomb, AlimanRuna,
FrescoBot, LucienBOT, Pinethicket, MagnInd, Born2bgratis, EmausBot, GeneralCheese, Alfwhe, Rabbabodrool, Qweerman, Dcirovic,
Dola92, ZroBot, Donner60, Scyndeye, Planet sputter, ClueBot NG, Jasonbook99, SlimNm, Liamguy12, Caowm2001, Cricetus, Tow,
SFK2, Jwratner1, NottNott, ShawntheGod, CMSnow14, TheUncredibleEditor, DoctorHypocrite, UNSC Luke 1021, Hzhtut and Anony-
mous: 93
Fresh water Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresh_water?oldid=784898009 Contributors: Akumiszcza, Stan Shebs, Francs2000,
Sunray, Giftlite, DocWatson42, Bkonrad, Andycjp, Alexf, Eisnel, Mike Rosoft, Discospinster, Vsmith, Bender235, NeilTarrant, Bobo192,
Rajah, Naturenet, Nsaa, Espoo, Alansohn, Snowolf, Velella, Saga City, HenryLi, Tabletop, Kbdank71, Rjwilmsi, Wavelength, Phantom-
steve, RussBot, RadioFan, Absolutadam802, Arthur Rubin, KGasso, Caballero1967, Cmglee, Eog1916, SmackBot, Rokfaith, Gilliam,
Wuyz, Octahedron80, VegaDark, Dreadstar, ArglebargleIV, J 1982, Gobonobo, Mgiganteus1, Stwalkerster, Apcbg, Noah Salzman,
SQGibbon, Heitordp, P199, Iridescent, TwistOfCain, JForget, WeggeBot, Neelix, DShantz, Ken Gallager, MC10, Gogo Dodo, Tick-
etMan, Peppage, Epbr123, Marek69, Dalahst, J. W. Love, Mailseth, Nick Number, Barek, Ericoides, Restecp, Dante~enwiki, Rob-
savoie, Magioladitis, WolfmanSF, Bongwarrior, VoABot II, JamesBWatson, DerHexer, DGG, NAHID, Shellwood, J.delanoy, Pharaoh
of the Wizards, AstroHurricane001, Tilla, Adavidb, AMX, Uncle Dick, Acalamari, Plasticup, DadaNeem, Johnnie ong, KylieTastic,
Juliancolton, Cometstyles, Useight, DASonnenfeld, VolkovBot, Thedjatclubrock, Vader Terence, Philip Trueman, TXiKiBoT, Oshwah,
Apacheneo, Anna Lincoln, LeaveSleaves, Dragana666, Turgan, Spinningspark, Monty845, FlyingLeopard2014, Patman657, Froztbyte,
Mikemoral, Dragan22, Tiddly Tom, Scarian, Legion , Smsarmad, Grundle2600, Flyer22 Reborn, 05, Fimbriata, Tombomp,
Divinestu, Dodger67, Toymao, Nn123645, Denisarona, Escape Orbit, Invertzoo, Mx. Granger, Elassint, ClueBot, Parvazbato59, The
Thing That Should Not Be, Wysprgr2005, Arakunem, CasualObserver'48, Dengero, Small-town hero, Excirial, Erebus Morgaine, Jerry
Zhang, LeinSora, Aitias, 7, Alchemist Jack, XLinkBot, Burningview, Chanakal, Eug.galeotti, The Rationalist, Osarius, HexaChord,
Rockboy482, Addbot, Xp54321, RN1970, Binary TSO, Ethanpet113, MrOllie, LaaknorBot, Glane23, Houndhogg, FiriBot, Favonian,
AtheWeatherman, Youlittlehandsomeguy, Tide rolls, Thegreathunter, Greyhood, Arbitrarily0, Luckas-bot, Yobot, 2D, Ptbotgourou, II
MusLiM HyBRiD II, Michael 1986, Gobbleswoggler, Eric-Wester, AnomieBOT, DemocraticLuntz, Fairywren, Archon 2488, Bsim-
mons666, Jim1138, IRP, Piano non troppo, AdjustShift, Yachtsman1, Asvestomix, Materialscientist, Citation bot, Srinivas, Avro Bellow,
Maxis ftw, ArthurBot, Chizchaz, Timir2, Capricorn42, Consumit, Renaissancee, Luckyleafus, Addhopous1, No More Mr Nice Guy,
Tikemike1093, Prunesqualer, RibotBOT, Silvia879, Mathonius, ShaneHodder, Sophus Bie, Shadowjams, Fhbgfbfbfdbhf, Zeke Haus-
father, FrescoBot, Voxii, LucienBOT, Bigweeboy, Citation bot 1, Baddykid13, Ntse, Baddykid14, Pinethicket, Miguelaaron, Ergito,
Serols, Full-date unlinking bot, White Shadows, Utility Monster, Dittomuch, Freshwoods, TobeBot, Trappist the monk, Yunshui, Lotje,
Vrenator, Zvn, Seahorseruler, DARTH SIDIOUS 2, Knashed, RjwilmsiBot, Regancy42, DASHBot, EmausBot, Immunize, GoingBatty,
RA0808, Fakirbakir, Minimacs Clone, Kallekalif, ZroBot, Josve05a, Revws, H3llBot, Jncheese, Vacant999, Wayne Slam, TyA, Missy
Sunshine, Coasterlover1994, L Kensington, Mytilus~enwiki, Donner60, Subrata Roy, Sven Manguard, DASHBotAV, Scyndeye, ClueBot
NG, CRJ200yer, Jasonbook99, A520, Chester Markel, Wamplerp, Cntras, Widr, Pluma, Jumpman1911, Helpful Pixie Bot, Titodutta,
Gob Lofa, Omkar1234, Alhanouf Arrumaih, TCN7JM, CityOfSilver, Rijinatwiki, Mark Arsten, Nibbles98, Muhtasimf, Tbach792, Sub
specie aeternitatis, Bob1234joe1234, Deathincownoeyes, Jimw338, Cyberbot II, Cam12thst, YFdyh-bot, Pathogenic23, Lionmead, Ar-
candam, Khazar2, EuroCarGT, Rinkle gorge, FoCuSandLeArN, YeahYeah24, Ancestordd, Frosty, DJB3.14, Sibs62, Mjglitter, Telford-
buck, AJSingh31, Passengerpigeon, Fycafterpro, Jerikab, Eyesnore, Smite510, Sandshark23, JustBerry, Kind Tennis Fan, AtticTapestry,
Uthorr, Dieomorphicvoodoo, Lagoset, Monkbot, Niyyah12, KH-1, ChamithN, Long Brown Turd, Labana123, Kinos0634, Sangde-
boeuf, KasparBot, Winterysteppe, DatGuy, GreenC bot, 62, Birdman wrestler and Anonymous: 478
Multi-stage ash distillation Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-stage_flash_distillation?oldid=759325539 Contributors: Theresa
knott, Ec5618, Grendelkhan, Wolfkeeper, Khalid hassani, Bobo192, Kjkolb, Coro, Vegaswikian, Anomalocaris, Jonathan.s.kt, GregRM,
A5b, Jaganath, NJR ZA, MaugansC, Marknagel, Telecineguy, Andy Dingley, Jarmen, Screen stalker, Water and Land, Starsend, Cacadril,
Silverwurm, SchreiberBike, Kolyma, ChenzwBot, TestEditBot, Daniele Pugliesi, SassoBot, Mfbear, FrescoBot, EmausBot, GoingBatty,
Dcirovic, Bahudhara, Echou, Ruos, Widr, Comfr, Cyberbot II, GabeIglesia, Peterye2005, GreenC bot, Pureprocharles and Anonymous:
Multiple-eect distillation Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple-effect_distillation?oldid=776397513 Contributors: Kpjas,
Khalid hassani, Daranz, Mindmatrix, GregorB, Coro, Wavelength, Dspradau, SmackBot, Gilliam, Eastlaw, Guy Macon, PhilKnight,

Mschier, Biscuittin, Akiry, Sgroupace, Cacadril, Addbot, Yobot, Daniele Pugliesi, LilHelpa, Xqbot, I dream of horses, Fui in terra
aliena, Bamyers99, Jo-Jo Eumerus, GabeIglesia, Dairhead, Ielenberg and Anonymous: 17
Vapor-compression desalination Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vapor-compression_desalination?oldid=777917250 Contribu-
tors: Khalid hassani, Coro, SmackBot, Eastlaw, Alaibot, Andy Dingley, Debresser, Karanne, AnomieBOT, BaneAUS, Ita140188, ClueBot
NG, Cyberbot II, Finnusertop, GreenC bot and Anonymous: 5
Vapor-compression evaporation Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vapor-compression_evaporation?oldid=784715440 Contribu-
tors: Ice Czar, Arthena, TomH, Woohookitty, Wavelength, Rwalker, E Wing, SmackBot, UbUb, Bluebot, Bejnar, Mbeychok, Dicklyon,
PKT, Ag2003, B.S. Lawrence, Magioladitis, CommonsDelinker, Oceanynn, Lbeaumont, WilfriedC, Electrolyteman, Andy Dingley, Bis-
cuittin, Moonriddengirl, Daven brown, Dthomsen8, Lightbot, PlankBot, AnomieBOT, Some standardized rigour, Erik9bot, FrescoBot, I
dream of horses, GoingBatty, John34engineer, KLBot2 and Anonymous: 26
Vacuum distillation Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_distillation?oldid=761049133 Contributors: HPA, Mulad, Gentgeen,
Giftlite, Gtrmp, Revth, Rich Farmbrough, Kevin Dorner, Jope~enwiki, Vuo, Wsloand, Drbreznjev, Mindmatrix, Tkslot, Rjwilmsi, Roboto
de Ajvol, Wiki alf, BOT-Superzerocool, SmackBot, Edgar181, Colonies Chris, Hgrosser, Cybercobra, AstroChemist, Mbeychok, Swot-
boy2000, BoH, Rieman 82, Christian75, WinBot, Quantockgoblin, Jeepday, Emonkey, WilfriedC, VolkovBot, Dogsgomoo, Elson-
huge, SieBot, Izmaelt, Kkolmetz, Frmorrison, Pointillist, Addbot, Jacopo Werther, JohnPaulGeorge, Bunnyhop11, Julia W, AnomieBOT,
Daniele Pugliesi, Dinesh smita, Citation bot, Elvim, , Mnmngb, Inhwiki, Pinethicket, Mys 721tx, Crimmm5, RjwilmsiBot,
EmausBot, Dcirovic, ZroBot, ClueBot NG, VUGD, Helpful Pixie Bot, BG19bot, Alkalinezeppelin, Pasicles, BattyBot, Leprof 7272,
Jodosma, PREM KUMAR809809, Luca bonfanti, CV9933, KGirlTrucker81 and Anonymous: 49
Ion exchange Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_exchange?oldid=759592112 Contributors: Heron, Stone, Cacycle, Svdmolen,
Femto, Hu, RHaworth, Zelse81, V8rik, Malangthon, Sohmc, YurikBot, Spike Wilbury, Mysid, Itub, TimBentley, Drphilharmonic, Mion,
Beetstra, Mets501, Artifactblue, RekishiEJ, Tawkerbot2, Lamiot, Raysonho, Rieman 82, Gproud, Christian75, Widefox, Smartse,
RuED~enwiki, BeefRendang, JAnDbot, Z22, Tomchurch100, MiPe, MartinBot, Auegel, Hermann Luyken, Bob, Jereygsinger, Nixopax,
Anna.h.bauer, Andreyz2000, Hirohisat, Samuel Grant, Mild Bill Hiccup, Polyamorph, Singhalawap, SchreiberBike, Polly, Thewell-
man, UnCatBot, Landlord77, Addbot, Luckas-bot, Vasily.Kravtsov, Yobot, Ptbotgourou, Hagecius, Daniele Pugliesi, Jim1138, Brack-
enheim, Xqbot, RibotBOT, Mnmngb, Chongkian, FrescoBot, Riventree, Bioc0, SkyMachine, Armando-Martin, Nmillerche, Mitartep,
ZroBot, ClueBot NG, CocuBot, Mmarre, BG19bot, Enterprisey, Hroakes, ArdenM29, Vieque, Glovacki, KasparBot, JohnCrow47,
WilliamFinnHarrison, Nbohne2, Bender the Bot and Anonymous: 53
Membrane technology Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Membrane_technology?oldid=759626022 Contributors: Skysmith, Gi-
raedata, Sleske, Velella, BD2412, Kolbasz, Bgwhite, RadioFan, PKT, Adavidb, Sbpnli, Brvman, EoGuy, 7&6=thirteen, SchreiberBike,
Dthomsen8, Addbot, Daniele Pugliesi, RibotBOT, FrescoBot, Remotelysensed, Peter in s, Bludom, Diannaa, Haianqutang, ClueBot NG,
BG19bot, Gosswiki, The Illusive Man, Williams12357, Dough34, Volker Siegel, Mitchellssandra, Dhedeepyalakshmi, Berryj7, Roberts-
Biology, Membrane expert, Blallo2.0, Adrian.barna and Anonymous: 17
Electrodialysis reversal Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrodialysis_reversal?oldid=729949334 Contributors: Kjkolb, Alynna
Kasmira, Xaje, Sinus, SmackBot, Deli nk, Nakon, PaddyM, Eastlaw, Belovedfreak, Water and Land, Daisy micheals, MrOllie, Peter in s,
SporkBot, BG19bot, Gpaladini, Jzoshi, GabeIglesia, Dough34, CV9933, Mitchfrank12, JohnCrow47 and Anonymous: 6
Reverse osmosis Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_osmosis?oldid=783415104 Contributors: AxelBoldt, Robert Merkel,
Zundark, Timo Honkasalo, Alex.tan, PierreAbbat, Deb, Edward, Palnatoke, Lpoulsen, MartinHarper, Delirium, Mkweise, Ahoerstemeier,
Ronz, Julesd, Glenn, Bogdangiusca, Wnissen, Mxn, Raven in Orbit, AhmadH, Redjar, Markhurd, Morn, Rohan Jayasekera, Romanm,
Roscoe x, Arm, Randyoo, Fabiform, Giftlite, DocWatson42, Bork, Mark.murphy, Ds13, H-2-O, Khalid hassani, Bobblewik, Wmahan,
Chowbok, Telso, Sleep pilot, Beland, Sean Heron, Gem fr, Borameer, ArthurDenture, Discospinster, Vsmith, Flatline, Doron, Pinzo,
Bobo192, BrokenSegue, Shenme, Kjkolb, Llywelyn, Nsaa, Andrewpmk, M7, Axl, Wtmitchell, Velella, Isaac, SidP, Dennis Schmitz,
Mindmatrix, Pmberry, Knuckles, Isnow, CharlesC, Chrkl, Bilbo1507, Ligar~enwiki, FreplySpang, Sj, Rjwilmsi, Pjetter, Coro, Jake
Wartenberg, Astronaut, Vegaswikian, Gary Cziko, Kolbasz, Bgwhite, Gwernol, Kummi, YurikBot, Wavelength, DMahalko, Hydrar-
gyrum, Rsrikanth05, NawlinWiki, Dugosz, Aler, Dureo, Vatassery, Froth, Syrthiss, Scratch~enwiki, Mysid, Kkmurray, Closedmouth,
BorgQueen, Chriswaterguy, Jonathan.s.kt, Jon Ace, Luk, Jodarom, SmackBot, Roger Davies, Nihonjoe, Lirnup, Vald, ScaldingHotSoup,
Stepa, Iph, Edgar181, Eike Welk, PeterSymonds, Gilliam, Ohnoitsjamie, Skizzik, Armeria, Chris the speller, Astaroth5, Deli nk, Weni-
WidiWiki, Jallotta, John Reaves, Yaf, Can't sleep, clown will eat me, Nick Levine, SirLamer, JudahH, AndyBQ, Mion, HYC, Phonkee,
Ashvidia, Kuru, Gobonobo, Jaganath, Mbeychok, Mgiganteus1, Markj99, Ckatz, Tls, Beetstra, Optimale, TastyPoutine, Wvoutlaw2002,
Libertyblues, Mere Mortal, 11Dunc11, Andrhyo, Carroy~enwiki, CmdrObot, John Riemann Soong, Woudloper, Ibadibam, Mtensign,
SyntaxError55, Rieman 82, Anonymi, Corpx, Give Peace A Chance, Christian75, Msnicki, Creavolution, Karuna8, Vinifera, Omi-
cronpersei8, Hardchemist, Thijs!bot, Epbr123, Jimscottuk, Mbell, Sagaciousuk, Drmemory, Davidpaulson, George Kienzle, Sikkema,
DPdH, Escarbot, Mentisto, AntiVandalBot, Goldenrowley, Sir Lunch-a-lot, Zigzig20s, David Shankbone, Dman727, JAnDbot, MER-
C, The Transhumanist, Avaya1, Igodard, Xeno, Rhys jw, Getterstraight, BrandonXVX, Magioladitis, VoABot II, JamesBWatson, Twsx,
Dirac66, Berlo84, Ashley.margery, Bennythewoof, Poeloq, Ubiquinaut, LurkingInChicago, R'n'B, Kateshortforbob, Leyo, CDM2, HEL,
Adavidb, Cymbalta, Cocoaguy, Acalamari, Samtheboy, Sleibler, Emonkey, NewEnglandYankee, Trilobitealive, Bob, Juliancolton, Bob
Kreisher, Rtfarrell5, Philip Trueman, TXiKiBoT, Steve Wise, Rei-bot, MikeChE, Vanished user ikijeirw34iuaeolaseric, LeaveSleaves,
From-cary, Maksdo, Osmoo, Lamro, BAMopedia, Falcon8765, Nave.notnilc, Bahamut0013, !dea4u, YordanGeorgiev, Chenzw, Paloma
Walker, SieBot, Maxhugen, Screen stalker, Euryalus, Da Joe, Yintan, Grundle2600, Bentogoa, Flyer22 Reborn, Behind The Wall Of
Sleep, Wade.david, Lightmouse, Zylox, Water and Land, StaticGull, Maisy101, Denisarona, Powderblue, Bigburt82, ClueBot, Ger-
wen, Loewenstein, The Thing That Should Not Be, Blackangel25, Pcirrus~enwiki, Cambrasa, R000t, Starsend, Jigibb, Excirial, The-
maab, Gtstricky, Gwguey, Chefallen, WhiteOakTree, SchreiberBike, Thewellman, Unixcrab, Armymanmikey, Drahkrub, DumZiBoT,
XLinkBot, Rror, Duncan, Oldmanwalyn, Sicvolo, HarlandQPitt, Espwater, Zodon, Addbot, Ardkorjunglist, Landon1980, Sldenoble,
Fieldday-sunday, Vishnava, MrOllie, Gtk123, Glane23, Norman21, Tide rolls, Gail, Dpl yho, Dlfelps, ScientistInTraining, Luckas-bot,
Yobot, Senator Palpatine, AnomieBOT, Mrosaclot, Jim1138, NickK, Materialscientist, Citation bot, ..24, Obersachsebot, Tra-
cyMcClark, Buzzbo, Gigemag76, ChildofMidnight, Jsharpminor, J JMesserly, Frosted14, , TurboChan, FrescoBot, Xey-
back, Paine Ellsworth, Slimserver, ItascaSystems, Twhair, Peter in s, Cristivivo, Evalowyn, Duckdive117, Redrose64, Jeremymobile,
Pinethicket, I dream of horses, Angstorm, Ctsspruill13, Serols, Ampac usa, Rahim6464, Vinophilussylvestris, Mono, Aarticles, Mindak3,
WaterSuperhero, Reaper Eternal, Eddiequest, Tbhotch, RjwilmsiBot, EmausBot, Immunize, Kingsh101, Ndkl, Racerx11, Benzy16,
Mmeijeri, Dcirovic, Col16, Tickle me gusta, Raghunathan.vs, ZroBot, Register112, John Cline, F, Sammy1462, Coasterlover1994,
Newstrens, Donner60, Dannable, ThePrudle, Ihardlythinkso, NTox, 28bot, ClueBot NG, This lousy T-shirt, Gilderien, Valinmo, Lord
Roem, Msbchphdech, ThatKid98, Gzucka, NeetuBarmecha21, Mmarre, Tiger304, Helpful Pixie Bot, Izakjacobuslouw, Momalki76,
7.1. TEXT 131

JohnSRoberts99, WNYY98, Astralian, Mcarmier, Sidneyloeb, Pundesser, Lerho, Duxwing, Gosswiki, Flagpolewiki, Tandona, Mean-
MotherJr, David.moreno72, Testem, Cyberbot II, Enliten9, Nostammai, Pama73, Brees Block, TwoTwoHello, GabeIglesia, Corn cheese,
Me, Myself, and I are Here, Junvfr, Silviacalvotome, Keserbob, Chemsciguy, Dairhead, Tentinator, KJ6MYQ, 2Plus2Is4, Alx.etcher,
A Certain Lack of Grandeur, Aeonsbluer, Jasonchoi99, Desalinfo, ArdenM29, Omjmark, Dough34, Chemgal12, Azah Osili, Jessieun-
derhill, Sid Loeb, TheEpTic, Ethically Yours, Freshinfo, Soloism, Ssr12345678, Esco83, Richard Yin, KH-1, PreparedMind, EChastain,
Broido, Seargantkailone, Ammarfzd, Wendy4ever, TPM 2014, Keyduc2512, Mitchfrank12, Johnlessdominic, Dharmin shah, Byron-
Braneld, James Rodq, Jackie9025, Dark-World25, Buianhkhoa304, MikeTango, Smithjamie002, Klaus Schmidt-Rohr, Will mcd2016,
HarryWikiWiki, Adrian.barna, Waterltration, Kelsey.beveridge, Kostas20142, Tom H RO, Mateshawari123, Gurdeepzsingh, HCJ80,
Domdls, Tmill and Anonymous: 644
Nanoltration Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanofiltration?oldid=776963160 Contributors: Mac, Alex Cohn, Adambro, Kurieeto,
Velella, Geraldshields11, Zereshk, BD2412, Rjwilmsi, Vegaswikian, SmackBot, Gilliam, Sbmehta, Nekohakase, Eastlaw, Atticmouse,
Thijs!bot, Headbomb, Gabriel Kielland, Antony-22, Equazcion, UV254, Julianprice, MikeChE, Cnilep, Grundle2600, Water and Land,
Niceguyedc, Moreau1, DumZiBoT, Sandrider, Dthomsen8, Addbot, Dawynn, Abduallah mohammed, Yobot, Ptbotgourou, AnomieBOT,
Materialscientist, Citation bot, Carl086, Amokbel, Myops~enwiki, LucienBOT, ItascaSystems, Peter in s, Citation bot 1, 564dude, Jesse
V., ClueBot NG, Helpful Pixie Bot, LucyABee, Dentalplanlisa, Dark Silver Crow, Dairhead, Natttyc, Cwarmann, Monkbot, Masonpew,
Mitchfrank12, Membrane expert, Antria Efstathiou and Anonymous: 33
Membrane distillation Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Membrane_distillation?oldid=767120476 Contributors: Bearcat, Joe Roe,
BD2412, Dicklyon, Christian75, Magioladitis, Swpb, Katharineamy, SchreiberBike, JPLeRouzic, Yobot, AnomieBOT, Materialscientist,
FrescoBot, Pinethicket, EmausBot, John of Reading, BG19bot, ChzzBot IV, Forbes02, ArticlesForCreationBot, Sumitkumarjha75, Solar-
spring, Darylgolden, DoctorKubla, Zhaokuimemsys, OhioGuy814, Aljarak, AliDarwish91, Some Gadget Geek, Mitchfrank12, JBuchm,
Fuortu, Deltapore and Anonymous: 19
Forward osmosis Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forward_osmosis?oldid=767360946 Contributors: Ewen, Gbleem, LukeSurl,
Rjwilmsi, CanadianCaesar, Robyvecchio, SmackBot, Iapetus, Jrvz, Iridescent, ChrisCork, Michael Fourman, Thijs!bot, Hydrosalience,
Kbthompson, Barnaby warne, Ricardo sandoval, Magioladitis, Vanish2, BigrTex, SuzanneKn, Starsend, Addbot, Materialscientist, Citation
bot, Mregelsberger, FrescoBot, Peter in s, Trappist the monk, RjwilmsiBot, Klbrain, Dcirovic, ZroBot, Autoerrant, Jik jik, BattyBot,
Jaspermogg, GabeIglesia, MattM112, Dough34, Azah Osili, Monkbot, Rawbliss, Mitchfrank12, Soleyman Sahebi and Anonymous: 23
Solar desalination Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_desalination?oldid=771932564 Contributors: Jdpipe, Kku, Ahoerste-
meier, Foobar, Khalid hassani, Beland, Vsmith, Kjkolb, Velella, Woohookitty, Coro, Wavelength, Chris Capoccia, Gaius Cornelius,
Neum, Allens, KasugaHuang, SmackBot, Bluebot, Ctbolt, Ashvidia, Ser Amantio di Nicolao, Ckatz, Dicklyon, Mueller42, Mpapape,
Wabernat, Sustainableyes, Grandia01, Johnfos, Rako77, Grundle2600, Serag4000, Water and Land, Addbot, MrOllie, SpBot, Jarble,
Yobot, Gaius Petronius, AnomieBOT, Materialscientist, Citation bot, Xqbot, Apothecia, Rdegertson, Shirik, Chikoo25, Pinethicket,
Trijnstel, Dewritech, ClueBot NG, Sundropfarms, Hira zuberi, MichaelAndersonatSpectra, Atwatereld, Francois Kneider, Desalinfo,
Akhtar Zuberi, ChrisMG678, HCJ80 and Anonymous: 64
Solar humidication Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_humidification?oldid=741174860 Contributors: Skysmith, Kjkolb,
Kurieeto, Rjwilmsi, Monkofthetrueschool, Neum, Mangoe, Marcushan, Jaganath, Dicklyon, Eastlaw, CmdrObot, Mueller42, Anony-
mous Dissident, Yintan, Water and Land, EmanWilm, La Pianista, Addbot, Favonian, Pinethicket, MerlIwBot, , GabeIglesia,
Beatlespersianfans, Melonkelon and Anonymous: 11
Geothermal desalination Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_desalination?oldid=759592278 Contributors: Ktsquare,
Vsmith, Kjkolb, Wtshymanski, Freyr, Gene Nygaard, Coro, SmackBot, Bluebot, George The Dragon, CzarB, Professor Newcomb,
Eastlaw, Teratornis, Gralo, Magioladitis, 28421u2232nfenfcenc, LorenzoB, KylieTastic, Wenli, Lightmouse, Water and Land, Dawynn,
CanadianLinuxUser, Lightbot, Whacktose, GeoDesal, Mmisso, Chatfecter, Aquagenesis, ClueBot NG, Yowanvista and Anonymous: 20
Multiple-eect humidication Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple-effect_humidification?oldid=741175138 Contributors:
Skysmith, Kjkolb, Kurieeto, Melaen, BD2412, Srleer, That Guy, From That Show!, SmackBot, Dicklyon, Eastlaw, Mueller42, Nick
Number, Water and Land, ClueBot, CanadianLinuxUser, The only one who knew, Trappist the monk, RjwilmsiBot, Dexbot, Sidelight12,
GabeIglesia and Anonymous: 3
Methane clathrate Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_clathrate?oldid=784588964 Contributors: Vicki Rosenzweig, Bryan
Derksen, The Anome, Andre Engels, Roadrunner, Frecklefoot, Edward, Nat32, Ixfd64, Kragen, Julesd, Smack, Ehn, Thomasgl, Zoicon5,
Tpbradbury, Maximus Rex, Dragons ight, SEWilco, Wetman, Tonderai, Jeq, Lowellian, Kencomer, Phanly, Cyrius, Alan Liefting,
Giftlite, DocWatson42, Gil Dawson, Herbee, Tom Radulovich, Dratman, Leonard G., BigBen212, Eequor, Brockert, Ebear422, Zeimusu,
Kuralyov, Nickptar, Mike Rosoft, Shiftchange, Rich Farmbrough, Hydrox, Vsmith, AlanBarrett, Bender235, Kagato, Vortexrealm, Slicky,
Kjkolb, QVanillaQ, Eric Kvaalen, Keenan Pepper, Axl, Jheald, Gene Nygaard, Ultramarine, BlueCanoe, Koshki, Mkoms, MGTom,
Dah31, BlaiseFEgan, V8rik, Nimocks, Rjwilmsi, Commander, Rushphoton, Vegaswikian, Williamborg, AySz88, Gurch, BjKa, Dexcel,
Physchim62, Sbrools, Simesa, YurikBot, Wavelength, Midgley, Crazytales, Casey56, Raquel Baranow, Gaius Cornelius, Salsb, Dtreb-
bien, Robert McClenon, Rbarreira, Epipelagic, PTSE, Chesnok, Arthur Rubin, Rogerb, SmackBot, Reedy, Shoy, Aetheling1125, Cla68,
Skizzik, Chris the speller, Bluebot, Jprg1966, Thumperward, Raymond arritt, Torzsmokus, Justin Staord, Wen D House, DMacks,
ILike2BeAnonymous, ~enwiki, Akpakp, MegaHasher, Lambiam, Esrever, MattHucke, Soap, John, Zaphraud, Dialecticas, Beetstra,
Keith-264, Iridescent, Amdurbin, George100, Eastlaw, Mikiemike, N2e, , A876, Dominicanpapi82, Rieman 82, Tloc, Ssilvers,
Thijs!bot, Epbr123, Headbomb, Id447, Dtgriscom, Dawnseeker2000, IrishMaa, AntiVandalBot, Tangerines, Tjmayerinsf, Smartse,
Postlewaight, Tillman, Mikenorton, Greensburger, Magioladitis, Beagel, Duckysmokton, AstroHurricane001, GeoWriter, Shawn in Mon-
treal, Oceanynn, Sue H. Ping, Fagiolonero, Wugo, Dsdesc, Leafyplant, Gbuchana, BotKung, Plazak, Lamro, Cw6165, Elriana, Michael
Frind, Animaniak, Scrippsnews, GirasoleDE, Eileenje, Andrewjlockley, Cyfal, Kostervangroos, ClueBot, Beastrife, LizardJr8, Sh-
jacks45, Tonkawa68, Ykhwong, DumZiBoT, Jurann, Rreagan007, Simultaneous, Snapperman2, Acaeton, Addbot, Mvanneste, DOI
bot, LinkFA-Bot, 84user, Lightbot, .., Loupeter, Fryed-peach, Yobot, AnomieBOT, Steve Lovelace, ThaddeusB, Tu-
coxn, Glagolev, Citation bot, J JMesserly, RibotBOT, Wusel007, Brunocip, Citation bot 1, Jonesey95, Shigeko, Trappist the monk,
Lotje, Oshrono, Google.co, Dewritech, Midas02, H3llBot, OnePt618, Donner60, Monteitho, RockMagnetist, 9Questions, Xoxua, Clue-
Bot NG, C4100, MerlIwBot, Potomac Oracle, Helpful Pixie Bot, JohnSRoberts99, Gob Lofa, Bibcode Bot, Ail Subway, Amp71, Ollieinc,
Harizotoh9, Tyrael123, Cyberbot II, Hindumuninc, Ibinottheman, Dexbot, Lugia2453, I am One of Many, Master of Time, Sujinkim,
Prokaryotes, Cptmrmcmillan, DudeWithAFeud, Fixuture, Pthbbb, Funnynn13, Monkbot, Ceosad, Fowler633, KasparBot, CAGE NCE,
InternetArchiveBot, RobbieIanMorrison, Bender the Bot, Barnardalex and Anonymous: 198

Reclaimed water Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reclaimed_water?oldid=783801680 Contributors: Voidvector, Mac, Ronz, Julesd,

Whkoh, Raven in Orbit, Grendelkhan, Tempshill, Stormie, Wetman, HangingCurve, Karn, Everyking, CryptoDerk, Antandrus, Beland,
Onco p53, OverlordQ, Vina, Klemen Kocjancic, Spiy sperry, Discospinster, Rich Farmbrough, Aranel, Duk, Espoo, Alansohn, Arthena,
Bantman, Velella, Lebite, The JPS, Mindmatrix, TigerShark, Barrylb, Tabletop, Xiong Chiamiov, LinkTiger, Graham87, Taestell, Fre-
plySpang, Rjwilmsi, Cassowary, FayssalF, Gparker, Gordonj, Willswikihelp, Skraz, YurikBot, Wavelength, Alex43223, Epipelagic, Don-
bert, Rlove, Chriswaterguy, Ordinary Person, Lyrl, SmackBot, Malkinann, Gnangarra, Edgar181, Commander Keane bot, PeterSymonds,
Colonies Chris, Shuki, OrphanBot, Microfrost, Khoikhoi, Nakon, JoshuaZ, AdultSwim, Xb-70~enwiki, Iridescent, LeyteWolfer, Az1568,
Eastlaw, Paultt, Ale jrb, Shorespirit, MeekMark, Sahrin, Teratornis, Blindman shady, Barticus88, Daniel, Erski, Dbromage, Cooljuno411,
AntiVandalBot, Mary Mark Ockerbloom, Azaghal of Belegost, MER-C, OhanaUnited, Pedro, Sustainableyes, LKG123, Mschier, Run-
ningSharky, Leyo, Draa, Thirdright, J.delanoy, Dfgdfgdfgdfgdfg, Abhijitsathe, Ohms law, DASonnenfeld, Shaunus4, Deltadiablo, Setre-
set, Greywater, Lamro, Flyinhawaiian, Yintan, Oda Mari, WacoJacko, Depstein, ImageRemovalBot, ClueBot, GorillaWarfare, Ndenison,
Mild Bill Hiccup, Uncle Milty, Niceguyedc, Tierneyjohn, Excirial, Eeekster, Zakarov, Sun Creator, Lostinlangley, Apparition11, Spitre,
Bluthng, K9Blues, EEng, Dkp205w, Addbot, Non-dropframe, Otisjimmy1, Ronhjones, Fieldday-sunday, Fothergill Volkensni IV, Morn-
ing277, Dr Edo McGowan, Notindustry, Sharifah81, Yobot, Sprachpeger, Renessaince, AnomieBOT, AdjustShift, Goodtimber, Valley-
ofdawn, Wodawik, Tslifko, ChristianH, Sjh12, Nrabruin, Brandon5485, FrescoBot, SUD Solutions, Peter in s, Pinethicket, Jonesey95,
Full-date unlinking bot, Trappist the monk, Mreijnhoudt, RjwilmsiBot, Ajt77, Felipekovacic, Look2See1, RenamedUser01302013, Peac-
eray, Wikipelli, Dcirovic, Access Denied, Donner60, ClueBot NG, Treehugger87, Catlemur, Justin.earl.lawrence, BG19bot, Northamer-
ica1000, Earlgrey101, Bethbeeman, Killmylove, WateReuse, Karlschutte, Rickjamesbillymays, 220 of Borg, Praxiphenes, Ehr1Ros2,
Jman737, Webclient101, Faizan, Epicgenius, Vanamonde93, Jodosma, Transphasic, NorthBySouthBaranof, Oldxsoul, Bdosier, Not-
tNott, Acalycine, Monkbot, Wateralex, EMsmile, Gjaquez, Mll mitch, Bio-CLC, JMWt, BRPever, Lida1985, PlanetCare, Tunathedog
and Anonymous: 213
Seawater greenhouse Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seawater_greenhouse?oldid=759592503 Contributors: Heron, Alan Lieft-
ing, Pascal666, Isidore, Vsmith, Giraedata, Anthony Appleyard, Melaen, Pauli133, Bobrayner, Woohookitty, RHaworth, Tabletop,
Rjwilmsi, ErikHaugen, Monkofthetrueschool, Wavelength, Gaius Cornelius, Dialectric, Bjelkeman, SmackBot, Mangoe, Thumperward,
Ryanlarsen, Whpq, SilkTork, Bless sins, Zugvogel~enwiki, Robertinventor, JamesAM, Steve Dufour, JustAGal, Fayenatic london, Joe
Schmedley, Maias, Orpenn, Magioladitis, Engineman, Hekerui, Beagel, Andrewjlockley, Jojalozzo, Vice regent, ImageRemovalBot,
ClueBot, Hadrianheugh, Nnemo, Auntof6, Alexbot, XLinkBot, RP459, Addbot, Favonian, Gnayler, Yobot, GGByte, Amirobot, Al-
ishaShatogi, AnomieBOT, JackieBot, Ulric1313, Xqbot, Alexandru Stanoi, Prari, Pinethicket, HRoestBot, Tea with toast, RjwilmsiBot,
TGCP, Dcirovic, ZroBot, Jeanpetr, ChuispastonBot, Gcc111, BG19bot, Mark Arsten, Raa be, Nicola.Manini, Peasreach77, Wikix44,
Me, Myself, and I are Here, IngridSFP, Mhmd.Ayad, Phineasj8, Infosundropfarms, Bender the Bot and Anonymous: 35

7.2 Images
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jpg License: CC-BY-SA-3.0 Contributors: Own work Original artist: Frank Vincentz
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7.2. IMAGES 133

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(Earth photograph)
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7.2. IMAGES 135

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