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Special Issue "Advances in Water Desalination"

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A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Davis (Website)

Center for Inland Desalination Systems, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater has taken on an enhanced interest as droughts in various parts of the world have caused local water shortage. In other regions there is a chronic shortage of water, and the growth of tourism, business or harvesting of natural resources can be carried out only with desalination to supplement scarce existing water resources.

Desalination is an expanding business with continuing evolution in technology. Reverse osmosis (RO) is the dominant technology for new desalination plants, but there are still innovations that drive down cost and improve energy efficiency and water yield in RO systems. Further, there is continuing research on new technologies and ways to adapt older technologies (e.g. thermally and electrically driven) to the new challenges of reducing energy cost and management of concentrated salt solutions that are a byproduct of desalination. Concentrate management is especially important for inland desalination plants for which the option is not available for disposal of concentrate into the ocean. In some cases the concentrate has marketable salts if they can be isolated and purified.

In this special issue entitled “Advances in Water Desalination” authors have the opportunity to publish papers on their contributions to desalination technology. Manuscripts are welcome in the following areas.

  • Pretreatment
  • New membranes
  • Innovative desalination processes
  • Concentrate management

Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Davis
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • Desalination
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Electrodialysis
  • Evaporation
  • Membrane distillation
  • Pretreatment
  • Concentrate

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Enzymatic Modification of Polyethersulfone Membranes
Water 2012, 4(4), 932-943; doi:10.3390/w4040932
Received: 1 October 2012 / Revised: 6 November 2012 / Accepted: 7 November 2012 / Published: 16 November 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Enzymatic modification of polyethersulfone (PES) membranes has been found not only feasible, but also an environmentally attractive way to vary surface properties systematically. In this paper, we summarize the effect of modification layers on protein adsorption and bacterial adhesion on PES membranes [...] Read more.
Enzymatic modification of polyethersulfone (PES) membranes has been found not only feasible, but also an environmentally attractive way to vary surface properties systematically. In this paper, we summarize the effect of modification layers on protein adsorption and bacterial adhesion on PES membranes and surfaces. The enzyme laccase was used to covalently bind (poly)phenolic acids to the membrane, and compared to other membrane modification methods, this method is very mild and did not influence the mechanical strength negatively. Depending on the conditions used during modification, the modification layers were capable of influencing interactions with typical fouling species, such as protein, and to influence attachment of microorganisms. We also show that the modification method can be successfully applied to hollow fiber membranes; and depending on the pore size of the base membrane, proteins were partially rejected by the membrane. In conclusion, we have shown that enzymatic membrane modification is a versatile and economically attractive method that can be used to influence various interactions that normally lead to surface contamination, pore blocking, and considerable flux loss in membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Water Desalination)
Open AccessArticle An Experimental Investigation on Inclined Negatively Buoyant Jets
Water 2012, 4(3), 720-738; doi:10.3390/w4030720
Received: 23 July 2012 / Revised: 11 September 2012 / Accepted: 12 September 2012 / Published: 24 September 2012
PDF Full-text (508 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An experimental study was performed to investigate the behavior of inclined negatively buoyant jets. Such jets arise when brine is discharged from desalination plants. A turbulent jet with a specific salinity was discharged through a circular nozzle at an angle to the [...] Read more.
An experimental study was performed to investigate the behavior of inclined negatively buoyant jets. Such jets arise when brine is discharged from desalination plants. A turbulent jet with a specific salinity was discharged through a circular nozzle at an angle to the horizontal into a tank with fresh water and the spatial evolution of the jet was recorded. Four different initial jet parameters were changed, namely the nozzle diameter, the initial jet inclination, the jet density and the flow rate. Five geometric quantities describing the jet trajectory that are useful in the design of brine discharge systems were determined. Dimensional analysis demonstrated that the geometric jet quantities studied, if normalized with the jet exit diameter, could be related to the densimetric Froude number. Analysis of the collected data showed that this was the case for a Froude number less than 100, whereas for larger values of the Froude number the scatter in the data increased significantly. As has been observed in some previous investigations, the slope of the best-fit straight line through the data points was a function of the initial jet angle (θ), where the slope increased with θ for the maximum levels (Ym) studied, but had a more complex behavior for horizontal distances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Water Desalination)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Configurations for High-Recovery Inland Desalination Systems
Water 2012, 4(3), 690-706; doi:10.3390/w4030690
Received: 4 July 2012 / Revised: 11 August 2012 / Accepted: 12 August 2012 / Published: 17 September 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Desalination of brackish groundwater (BW) is an effective approach to augment water supply, especially for inland regions that are far from seawater resources. Brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) desalination is still subject to intensive energy consumption compared to the theoretical minimum energy [...] Read more.
Desalination of brackish groundwater (BW) is an effective approach to augment water supply, especially for inland regions that are far from seawater resources. Brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) desalination is still subject to intensive energy consumption compared to the theoretical minimum energy demand. Here, we review some of the BWRO plants with various system arrangements. We look at how to minimize energy demands, as these contribute considerably to the cost of desalinated water. Different configurations of BWRO system have been compared from the view point of normalized specific energy consumption (SEC). Analysis is made at theoretical limits. The SEC reduction of BWRO can be achieved by (i) increasing number of stages, (ii) using an energy recovery device (ERD), or (iii) operating the BWRO in batch mode or closed circuit mode. Application of more stages not only reduces SEC but also improves water recovery. However, this improvement is less pronounced when the number of stages exceeds four. Alternatively and more favourably, the BWRO system can be operated in Closed Circuit Desalination (CCD) mode and gives a comparative SEC to that of the 3-stage system with a recovery ratio of 80%. A further reduction of about 30% in SEC can be achieved through batch-RO operation. Moreover, the costly ERDs and booster pumps are avoided with both CCD and batch-RO, thus furthering the effectiveness of lowering the costs of these innovative approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Water Desalination)
Open AccessArticle The Ability of a Nanofiltration Membrane to Remove Hardness and Ions from Diluted Seawater
Water 2012, 4(2), 283-294; doi:10.3390/w4020283
Received: 19 January 2012 / Revised: 1 March 2012 / Accepted: 1 March 2012 / Published: 23 March 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (217 KB) | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, the ability of a commercial spiral-wound nanofiltration membrane to remove hardness and ions from diluted seawater was studied. Experiments were carried out in the pressure range of 4–10 bar. Analyses of the samples, and permeates at different pressures, were [...] Read more.
In this work, the ability of a commercial spiral-wound nanofiltration membrane to remove hardness and ions from diluted seawater was studied. Experiments were carried out in the pressure range of 4–10 bar. Analyses of the samples, and permeates at different pressures, were performed and the effects of the trans-membrane pressure on the permeate flux were investigated. The results show that this nanofiltration membrane is capable of retaining 96–98% of the total hardness, 79–89% of the electrical conductivity and 79–89% of the total dissolved solid (TDS). Our results are in good agreement with those reported by the manufacturing company. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Water Desalination)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Advances in Membrane Distillation for Water Desalination and Purification Applications
Water 2013, 5(1), 94-196; doi:10.3390/w5010094
Received: 23 November 2012 / Revised: 14 December 2012 / Accepted: 25 December 2012 / Published: 25 January 2013
Cited by 108 | PDF Full-text (4311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Membrane distillation is a process that utilizes differences in vapor pressure to permeate water through a macro-porous membrane and reject other non-volatile constituents present in the influent water. This review considers the fundamental heat and mass transfer processes in membrane distillation, recent [...] Read more.
Membrane distillation is a process that utilizes differences in vapor pressure to permeate water through a macro-porous membrane and reject other non-volatile constituents present in the influent water. This review considers the fundamental heat and mass transfer processes in membrane distillation, recent advances in membrane technology, module configurations, and the applications and economics of membrane distillation, and identifies areas that may lead to technological improvements in membrane distillation as well as the application characteristics required for commercial deployment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Water Desalination)
Open AccessReview Microporous Silica Based Membranes for Desalination
Water 2012, 4(3), 629-649; doi:10.3390/w4030629
Received: 4 July 2012 / Revised: 11 August 2012 / Accepted: 21 August 2012 / Published: 3 September 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (1315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review provides a global overview of microporous silica based membranes for desalination via pervaporation with a focus on membrane synthesis and processing, transport mechanisms and current state of the art membrane performance. Most importantly, the recent development and novel concepts for [...] Read more.
This review provides a global overview of microporous silica based membranes for desalination via pervaporation with a focus on membrane synthesis and processing, transport mechanisms and current state of the art membrane performance. Most importantly, the recent development and novel concepts for improving the hydro-stability and separating performance of silica membranes for desalination are critically examined. Research into silica based membranes for desalination has focussed on three primary methods for improving the hydro-stability. These include incorporating carbon templates into the microporous silica both as surfactants and hybrid organic-inorganic structures and incorporation of metal oxide nanoparticles into the silica matrix. The literature examined identified that only metal oxide silica membranes have demonstrated high salt rejections under a variety of feed concentrations, reasonable fluxes and unaltered performance over long-term operation. As this is an embryonic field of research several target areas for researchers were discussed including further improvement of the membrane materials, but also regarding the necessity of integrating waste or solar heat sources into the final process design to ensure cost competitiveness with conventional reverse osmosis processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Water Desalination)
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