1887

Abstract

Water is not just the essential ingredient for life, but also a fundamental factor in the economy and security of any country. Coupled with increased population and climate change effect, the availability of food, water, and energy are the biggest challenges that the world faces. There is also the dependency of these essential gradients and basic needs on each other; i.e., water is needed to produce energy and energy is needed to produce water as well as both water and energy are needed to produce food. Over the next two decades water demand will exceed water supply by about 40% according to many scientific studies and reports. Food and energy demands will exceed supply by 50% and have also been described by the UK government's chief scientific advisor, Prof. John Beddington, to create the ''perfect storm'' by 2030. The provision of drinkable supplies through desalination could offer a sustainable solution to the drinking water problem but also presents a technical challenge too as well as all existing methods involve high operating and investment costs. A novel manipulated/forward osmosis (MfO) desalination process has been invented and developed at the Centre for Osmosis Research and Applications at the University of Surrey in collaboration with Modern Water plc (Modern Water). In the MfO process seawater is converted into an osmotic agent's solution by taking advantage of the natural osmosis process. Pure water is then recovered from the osmotic agent's solution using a membrane process, where the agent is reused. The technical obstacles being overcome in this process are the avoidance of all scaling, bio-fouling, high operating pressures, and necessity for pre-treatments and the associated chemical wastes, which result in direct and indirect reduction of cost. The concepts also serve as a platform for applications in power generation and other industrial applications. The pilot plant and Modern Water's commercial plants data in Oman and Gibraltar that follow from the manipulated osmosis (MO) process route offers up to 30% saving in the specific energy consumption over a conventional reverse osmosis (RO) process. The MO process also offers an increase in fresh water recovery rate coupled with minimal membrane fouling propensity and brine disposal. Additionally, the process can be incorporated into existing RO and thermal plants with reasonable modifications. New plant based on the MO principle should also have lower capital costs and smaller footprint. The new technology can be used to obtain clean water from any available water source irrespective of its purity, such as waste streams, seawater, brackish water, river water, etc. The provision of drinkable supplies through desalination could offer a sustainable solution to the drinking water problem but also presents a technical challenge too as well as all existing methods involve high operating and investment costs. A novel Manipulated/Forward Osmosis (MfO) desalination process has been invented and developed at the Centre for Osmosis Research and Applications at the University of Surrey in collaboration with Modern Water plc. In the MfO process seawater is converted into an osmotic agent's solution by taking advantage of the natural osmosis process. Pure water is then recovered from the osmotic agent's solution using a membrane process, where the agent is reused. The technical obstacles being overcome in this process are the avoidance of all scaling, bio-fouling, high operating pressures, and necessity for pre-treatments and the associated chemical wastes, which result in direct and indirect reduction of cost. The concepts also serve as a platform for applications in power generation and other industrial applications. The pilot plant and Modern Water's commercial plants data in Oman and Gibraltar that follow from the MO process route offers up to 30% saving in the specific energy consumption over a conventional RO process. The MO process also offers an increase in fresh water recovery rate coupled with minimal membrane fouling propensity and brine disposal. Additionally, the process can be incorporated into existing RO and thermal plants with reasonable modifications. New plant based on the MO principle should also have lower capital costs and smaller footprint. The new technology can be used to obtain clean water from any available water source irrespective of its purity, such as waste streams, seawater, brackish water, river water, etc.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AESNP28
2012-10-01
2020-11-23
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AESNP28
Loading
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error