Last updated on January 23rd, 2019
Let’s review our desalination definition and a few examples to consider.
What is Desalination?
Desalination is the process of removing excess levels of sodium chloride (salt) and other minerals from the sea water to make it fit for human use or consumption and various industrial uses.
Reverse-osmosis method is the most commonly used in desalination whereby the salty seawater is passed through a series of the semipermeable membrane. The membrane only allows water molecules to pass through but blocks salt and other mineral molecules from passing.
Definition of Desalination and Examples
There are two main types of desalination technologies which include the following.
Reverse-osmosis (RO) desalination
RO method uses the osmosis principle to separate the water molecules and salt molecules by passing the salty water through a series semi-permeable membrane which blocks the salt and other minerals molecules from passing.
Since there are various processes in reverse-osmosis desalination, different factors such as quality of water source and pretreatment among others are considered when deciding the perfect solution for each situation. It is most suitable for potable and industrial uses since it can remove a large variety of molecules and ions.
Thermal desalination (MED, MVC and MSF)
Thermal desalination method uses heat to evaporate the water and then condense it purify. In desalination plants with recent technology such as those built by IDE, the water is first treated to increase the plant’s efficiency.
In thermal desalination, process heat is a vital component and therefore, it is mostly attached to power plants and refineries.
Benefits of Desalination
Desalination is a great way to become more efficient with water, which will be a vital component for our future on earth. Here are several of the benefits of desalination worth considering.
- Provides clean and fresh water for human consumption by removing excess dissolved salt and minerals from seawater.
- Provides clean water for irrigation in arid areas, therefore, creating food security in those areas.
- Provides an alternative source of safe water that cannot harm the environment and living things.
- The method helps to preserve freshwater supplies which are limited and can be exhausted.
- Ocean water is unlimited, and therefore it reduces the pressure on current freshwater sources.
- It creates employment for the people working in the desalination plants independent of changing factors.
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