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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Techno-Economic Assessment of Air and Water Gap Membrane Distillation for Seawater Desalination under Different Heat Source Scenarios

Departamento de Tecnologías del Medio Ambiente, Faculty of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Instituto Universitario de Investigación Marina (INMAR), Campus de Excelencia Internacional del Mar (CEIMAR), University of Cadiz, Av. República Saharaui, Puerto Real, 11510 Cádiz, Spain
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Water 2019, 11(10), 2117; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102117
Received: 5 September 2019 / Revised: 7 October 2019 / Accepted: 9 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technologies and Water Treatment)
Membrane distillation (MD) has a great deal of potential and this is currently being explored by the scientific community. However, this technology has not yet been implemented by industry, and an estimation of final product costs is key to its commercial success. In this study a techno-economic assessment of air gap MD (AGMD) and water gap MD (WGMD) for seawater desalination under different capacities and heat source scenarios was developed. The simplified cost of water (SCOW) method, which estimates investment costs, fixed and variable costs, as well as amortization factors and price influence over time was applied. In addition, experimental data from a laboratory-scale MD desalination plant were also used. The results showed water costs in the range of 1.56 to 7.53 €/m3 for WGMD and 2.38 to 9.60 €/m3 for AGMD. Specifically, the most feasible scenario was obtained for WGMD with a capacity of 1000 m3 daily using waste and solar heat. Finally, the costs obtained for MD were similar to those of conventional desalination technologies at the same scale factor. Therefore, although large-scale pilot studies and optimization of manufacturing processes are needed, MD shows very promising results that should be considered further. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane distillation; air gap membrane distillation; water gap membrane distillation; techno-economic assessment; seawater desalination; waste heat; solar heat membrane distillation; air gap membrane distillation; water gap membrane distillation; techno-economic assessment; seawater desalination; waste heat; solar heat
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MDPI and ACS Style

Amaya-Vías, D.; López-Ramírez, J.A. Techno-Economic Assessment of Air and Water Gap Membrane Distillation for Seawater Desalination under Different Heat Source Scenarios. Water 2019, 11, 2117.

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