Breakthrough in energy efficient desalination technology

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Courtesy of GLOBE Foundation

Saltworks' proof-tested process employs an innovative thermo-ionic energy conversion system. The energy reduction is achieved by harnessing low temperature heat and atmospheric dryness to overcome the desalination energy barrier. The system works best in the dry regions that need water. Saltworks President Joshua Zoshi said, 'a desalination technology powered by atmospheric dryness is very much needed during these times of increasing water stress, energy price volatility, and carbon impact concerns.' Current desalination processes remain highly energy intensive and costly to operate. In the last 50 years there have been major advancements in the desalination sector, but so far high energy use is still the major road block in desalting water.

Global Water Intelligence (GWI), a leading industry tracker, states 'the greatest challenge for the desalination industry is to increase the energy efficiency of the process faster than the price of generating electricity from fossil fuels.'

Saltworks' patent pending technology employs an innovative Thermo-IonicTM energy conversion system that uses up to 80 percent less electrical/mechanical energy relative to leading desalination technologies. The energy reduction is achieved by harnessing low temperature heat and atmospheric dryness to overcome the desalination energy barrier.

Saltwater is evaporated to produce a concentrated solution. This solution, which has concentration gradient energy, is fed into Saltworks' proprietary desalting device to desalinate either seawater or brackish water. Some electrical energy is used to circulate fluids at a low pressure, yet the bulk of the energy input is obtained through the evaporation of saltwater.

Performance of this novel process improves in arid regions, which happen to be the very regions that require freshwater. The technology also requires less pre-treatment and chemicals than traditional processes.

Ben Sparrow, CEO and the inventor of the technology is excited to finally unveil the product of the company's hard work.

'We've been working on the technology for a number of years and are excited to cut the ribbon on our fully functional seawater based pilot plant, built largely from low cost components and with the capability to process the troublesome waste from existing desalination plants.'

Both Sparrow and Zoshi will time the public release of Saltworks with a presentation of at the World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse in Dubai early November 2009.

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