Innovative Technologies for Lower Energy Consumption in Desalination and Water Reuse

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water-Energy Nexus".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2021) | Viewed by 36542

Special Issue Editors

Mechanical and Construction Engineering Department, University of Northumbria, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
Interests: water treatment; cooling; energy storage; renewables; thermodynamics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Robert Field
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mechanical and Construction Engineering Department, University of Northumbria, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Interests: desalination; membrane processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As a result of population growth, industrialisation and climate change, the water demand is expted to increase and seawater desalination is accepted as an integerated part of water supply circuit in most of the countries. The future desalination processes not only need to meet economic criteria related to CAPEX and OPEX but also environmental sustainability requirements in terms of CO2 emissions, brine and chemical rejections. This Special Issue aims to explore the possible practical desalination processes to meet sustainable water supplies in the future to continue the life cycle and to maintain industrial development trend. It will help to bridge the knowledge gap between real industry and the scientific community by showcasing the major challenges faced by current desalination industry and how innovative processes played an important role to resolve seawater and brackish water treatment issues. The target of this Special Issue is to link the industry with experts by sharing their experiences for future sustainable water supplies.

The Special Issue will accept articles presenting improvements in conventional systems, development of innovative technologies, desalination-related environmental remediation and economic analysis.  In addition, the articles on the following topics can also be submitted for possible publication.

  • Hybrid desalination processes
  • Energy recoveries and energy reduction
  • Sustainable /green desalination processes
  • Low carbon desalination technologies
  • Direct and indirect impact of brine and chemical rejection
  • Optimization of processes in terms of pretreatment chemical dosage
  • Efficient pretreatment and post-treatment processes
  • Innovative desalination processes for environmental remediation
  • Renewable energy driven desalination processes
  • Integration of desalination processes with water reuse and other possible options
  • Stand-alone desalination processes
  • Efficient matrials for desalination application
  • Life cycle cost assessment
  • Thermoeconomic analysis
  • Desalination future roadmap
  • Zero liquid discharge

Dr. Muhammad Wakil Shahzad
Prof. Robert Field
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Desalination
  • Sustainability
  • Hybrid process
  • Thermo-economic analysis
  • LCA, Performance ratio
  • Pre-treatment
  • Brine rejection
  • Efficient desalination
  • Energy recoveries

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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27 pages, 3897 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Desalination Technologies Using Renewable Energy Sources with Life Cycle, PESTLE, and Multi-Criteria Decision Analyses
Water 2021, 13(21), 3023; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213023 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 53 | Viewed by 16433
Abstract
Nowadays, desalination continues to expand globally, which is one of the most effective solutions to solve the problem of the global drinking water shortage. However, desalination is not a fail-safe process and has many environmental and human health consequences. This paper investigated the [...] Read more.
Nowadays, desalination continues to expand globally, which is one of the most effective solutions to solve the problem of the global drinking water shortage. However, desalination is not a fail-safe process and has many environmental and human health consequences. This paper investigated the desalination procedure of seawater with different technologies, namely, multi-stage flash distillation (MSF), multi-effect distillation (MED), and reverse osmosis (RO), and with various energy sources (fossil energy, solar energy, wind energy, nuclear energy). The aim was to examine the different desalination technologies’ effectiveness with energy sources using three assessment methods, which were examined separately. The life cycle assessment (LCA), PESTLE, and multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) methods were used to evaluate each procedure. LCA was based on the following impact analysis and evaluation methods: ReCiPe 2016, IMPACT 2002+, and IPCC 2013 GWP 100a; PESTLE risk analysis evaluated the long-lasting impact on processes and technologies with political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors. Additionally, MCDA was based on the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to the Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method to evaluate desalination technologies. This study considered the operational phase of a plant, which includes the necessary energy and chemical needs, which is called “gate-to-gate” analysis. Saudi Arabia data were used for the analysis, with the base unit of 1 m3 of the water product. As the result of this study, RO combined with renewable energy provided outstanding benefits in terms of human health, ecosystem quality, and resources, as well as the climate change and emissions of GHGs categories. Full article
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12 pages, 4947 KiB  
Article
Characterization of PVDF/Graphene Nanocomposite Membranes for Water Desalination with Enhanced Antifungal Activity
Water 2021, 13(9), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091279 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2807
Abstract
Seawater desalination is a worldwide concern for the sustainable production of drinking water. In this regard, membrane distillation (MD) has shown the potential for effective brine treatment. However, the lack of appropriate MD membranes limits its industrial expansion since they experience fouling and [...] Read more.
Seawater desalination is a worldwide concern for the sustainable production of drinking water. In this regard, membrane distillation (MD) has shown the potential for effective brine treatment. However, the lack of appropriate MD membranes limits its industrial expansion since they experience fouling and wetting issues. Therefore, hydrophobic membranes are promising candidates to successfully deal with such phenomena that are typical for commercially available membranes. Here, several graphene/polyvinylidene (PVDF_G) membranes with different graphene loading (0–10 wt%) were prepared through a phase inversion method. After full characterization of the resulting membranes, the surface revealed that the well-dispersed graphene in the polymer matrix (0.33 and 0.5 wt% graphene loading) led to excellent water repellence together with a rough structure, and a large effective surface area. Importantly, antifungal activity tests of films indicated an increase in the inhibition percentage for PVDF_G membranes against the Curvularia sp. fungal strain. However, the antifungal surface properties were found to be the synergistic result of graphene toxicity and surface topography. Full article
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18 pages, 7023 KiB  
Article
Experimental Investigations of a Solar Water Treatment System for Remote Desert Areas of Pakistan
Water 2021, 13(8), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081070 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3159
Abstract
Pakistan is among the countries that have already crossed the water scarcity line, and the situation is worsened due to the recent pandemic. This is because the major budget of the country is shifted to primary healthcare activities from other development projects that [...] Read more.
Pakistan is among the countries that have already crossed the water scarcity line, and the situation is worsened due to the recent pandemic. This is because the major budget of the country is shifted to primary healthcare activities from other development projects that included water treatment and transportation infrastructure. Consequently, water-borne diseases have increased drastically in the past few months. Therefore, there is a dire need to address this issue on a priority basis to ameliorate the worsening situation. One possible solution is to shift the focus/load from mega-projects that require a plethora of resources, money, and time to small domestic-scale systems for water treatment. For this purpose, domestic-scale solar stills are designed, fabricated, and tested in one of the harshest climatic condition areas of Pakistan, Rahim Yar Khan. A comprehensive overview of the regional climatology, including wind speed, solar potential, and ambient temperature is presented for the whole year. The analysis shows that the proposed system can adequately resolve the drinking water problems of deprived areas of Pakistan. The average water productivity of 1.5 L/d/m2 is achieved with a total investment of PKR 3000 (<$20). This real site testing data will serve as a guideline for similar system design in other arid areas globally. Full article
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14 pages, 815 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy Generation and GHG Emission Reduction Potential of a Satellite Water Reuse Plant by Using Solar Photovoltaics and Anaerobic Digestion
Water 2021, 13(5), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050635 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2173
Abstract
Wastewater treatment is a very energy-intensive process. The growing population, increased demands for energy and water, and rising pollution levels caused by fossil-fuel-based energy generation, warrants the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This research explored the energy consumption offset of a [...] Read more.
Wastewater treatment is a very energy-intensive process. The growing population, increased demands for energy and water, and rising pollution levels caused by fossil-fuel-based energy generation, warrants the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This research explored the energy consumption offset of a satellite water reuse plant (WRP) by using solar photovoltaics (PVs) and anaerobic digestion. The analysis was performed for two types of WRPs: conventional (conventional activated sludge system (CAS) bioreactor with secondary clarifiers and dual media filtration) and advanced (bioreactor with membrane filtration (MBR)) treatment satellite WRPs. The associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were also evaluated. For conventional treatment, it was found that 28% and 31.1% of the WRP’s total energy consumption and for advanced treatment, 14.7% and 5.9% of the WRP’s total energy consumption could be generated by anaerobic digestion and solar PVs, respectively. When both energy-generating units are incorporated in the satellite WRPs, MBR WRPs were on average 1.86 times more energy intensive than CAS WRPs, translating to a cost savings in electricity of $7.4/1000 m3 and $13.3/1000 m3 treated, at MBR and CAS facilities, respectively. Further, it was found that solar PVs require on average 30% longer to pay back compared to anaerobic digestion. For GHG emissions, MBR WRPs without incorporating energy generating units were found to be 1.9 times more intensive than CAS WRPs and 2.9 times more intensive with energy generating units. This study successfully showed that the addition of renewable energy generating units reduced the energy consumption and carbon emissions of the WRP. Full article
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Review

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40 pages, 5304 KiB  
Review
Recent Desalination Technologies by Hybridization and Integration with Reverse Osmosis: A Review
Water 2021, 13(10), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101369 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 53 | Viewed by 9423 | Correction
Abstract
Reverse osmosis is the leading technology for desalination of brackish water and seawater, important for solving the growing problems of fresh water supply. Thermal technologies such as multi-effect distillation and multi-stage flash distillation still comprise an important portion of the world’s desalination capacity. [...] Read more.
Reverse osmosis is the leading technology for desalination of brackish water and seawater, important for solving the growing problems of fresh water supply. Thermal technologies such as multi-effect distillation and multi-stage flash distillation still comprise an important portion of the world’s desalination capacity. They consume substantial amounts of energy, generally obtained from fossil fuels, due to their low efficiency. Hybridization is a strategy that seeks to reduce the weaknesses and enhance the advantages of each element that makes it up. This paper introduces a review of the most recent publications on hybridizations between reverse osmosis and thermal desalination technologies, as well as their integration with renewable energies as a requirement to decarbonize desalination processes. Different configurations provide improvements in key elements of the system to reduce energy consumption, brine production, and contamination, while improving product quality and production rate. A combination of renewable sources and use of energy and water storage systems allow for improving the reliability of hybrid systems. Full article
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Other

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1 pages, 179 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Feria-Díaz et al. Recent Desalination Technologies by Hybridization and Integration with Reverse Osmosis: A Review. Water 2021, 13, 1369
Water 2021, 13(22), 3199; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223199 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1137
Abstract
In the original article [...] Full article
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