Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Desalinating Seawater with Minimal Energy Use

12.07.2011
At a pilot facility in Singapore, Siemens has cut the energy needed to desalinate seawater by more than 50 percent.

The plant processes 50 cubic meters of water per day, consuming only 1.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity per cubic meter. The most efficient desalination technique currently in use is reverse osmosis, which consumes more than twice as much energy. The magazine "Pictures of the Future" reports that the new technique uses an electric field to remove the salt from the water.


Plans call for demonstration units to be set up in Singapore, the U.S., and the Caribbean by mid-2012.

Experts estimate that global water consumption will rise by 40 percent over the next 15 years. Because desert countries and small nations such as Singapore have few sources of fresh water, they are increasingly desalinating seawater, which still consumes a lot of energy. Turning one cubic meter of seawater into steam takes about 10 kilowatt-hours of electricity. By contrast, reverse osmosis, which presses the water through a filter, consumes about four kilowatt-hours for the same amount of water.

The new energy-saving system from Siemens uses electrodialysis. It extracts the salts’ positively and negatively charged ions from the water by means of an electric field. Special membranes that only allow a single type of ion to pass through create channels that collect either the resulting brine or the purified water. However, the process becomes inefficient as the salt concentration declines because the water’s electrical resistance increases.

That’s why a Continuous Electrodeionization (CEDI) system is used to extract the last percentage of salt in the water. In this system, ion exchange resins located between the membranes capture the ions and transport them away from the water.

Experts from Siemens Corporate Technology are currently working on a simulation model that will help further improve the process. As part of a project sponsored by the German Research Ministry, the researchers will simulate the processes at the molecular level. They hope the model will help them to better understand the transport of the ions through the membranes as well as the dynamics of the water flow in the electric field.

Siemens developed the new desalination technique at the Singapore WaterHub, a research center for water treatment systems. The technology is part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio, with which the company generated about €28 billion in sales in fiscal year 2010.

Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens ResearchNews
Further information:
http://www.siemens.com/researchnews

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht TU Graz researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing
21.03.2017 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>