Keywords: cost effectiveness, environment friendly, sustainable desalination, desalination technologies, seawater desalination, hybrid desalination, CDM, waste heat utilisation, clean technologies, nuclear energy sources, renewable energy sources, environmental impact, nuclear power, wind energy, solar energy, wind power, solar power
Sustainable desalination technologies for future
This paper deals with some aspects concerning the dual objectives of cost-effectiveness and favourable environmental impact of desalination plants, resulting in a sustainable alternative source of fresh water for future needs. These include some case studies on the use of waste heat for the thermal desalination plants, replacement of conventional pre-treatments in membrane plants with cleaner processes, deployment of hybrid desalination systems and use of non-fossil fuel sources for both types of desalination plant. In particular, the role of nuclear and renewable energy sources (wind and solar) has been examined. The environmental impact of the desalination processes has been discussed and benefits from suggested technologies under CDM have been outlined. With the current environmental concerns, it is desirable to consider use of alternate energy sources for desalination, even though at present these appear not that economical. They may become so once credit for clean energy is available. A real breakthrough in development of near ideal membranes will of course go a long way in desalination economics. Efforts need to be continued in this area.