New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Environmental Impact Cost Analysis of Multi-stage Flash, Multi-effect Distillation, Mechanical Vapor Compression, and Reverse Osmosis Medium Size Desalination Facilities Abstract The global water demand is continuously increasing due to population growth and economic development. In response to increasing demand, desalination has become an important source of water for drinking, agriculture, and industry in many regions of the world. The objective of this research is to analyze the environmental impact of four different desalination methods: multi-stage flash (MSF), multi-effect distillation (MED), mechanical vapor compression (MVC), and reverse osmosis (RO) operating at a production capacity between 100 and 200 m3/d based on a review of available literature. Environmental impacts include: total source water requirement, brine disposal concerns, and energy consumption for treatment (electrical and thermal). The source water and brine disposal requirements for each method vary based on system efficiency. As a system’s treatment efficiency increased, the source water requirement decreased and the salinity of the brine solution increased. RO was the least energy intensive treatment method, requiring 3-5.5 kWh/m3. MED and MVC had similar energy requirements at 6.5-12 kWh/m3. The least efficient treatment method was MSF, requiring 13.5-25.5 kWh/m3. High salinity in brine and large energy requirements can be mitigated by pairing the desalination facility with a waste water treatment plant or power plant, where effluent can be mixed with the brine to reduce salinity and thermal energy can be supplied by the power plant to reduce energy demand. None of the treatment methods could be considered a better option than another. Each system had its merits and feasibility were heavily dependent on local conditions and infrastructure.
Najafi, F. T., & Alsaffar, M., & Schwerer, S. C., & Brown, N., & Ouedraogo, J. (2016, June), Environmental Impact Cost Analysis of Multi-Stage Flash, Multi-Effect Distillation, Mechanical Vapor Compression, and Reverse Osmosis Medium-Size Desalination Facilities Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26729
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