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Environmental Impact Cost Analysis of Multi-Stage Flash, Multi-Effect Distillation, Mechanical Vapor Compression, and Reverse Osmosis Medium-Size Desalination Facilities

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Case Studies and Programs to Improve Graduate Students' Skills

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

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Fazil T. Najafi University of Florida

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Dr. Fazil T. Najafi

For many years, Dr. Fazil T. Najafi has worked in government, industry and education. He earned a BS, MS and PhD degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia. His experience in industry includes work as a highway, structural, mechanical, and consultant engineer and construction manager for government and private companies. Najafi taught for many years at Villanova University, Pennsylvania, a visiting professor at George Mason University, and then to the University of Florida, Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, where he is currently a professor in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment, Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering. He has received numerous awards including Fulbright cholarship awards, teaching awards, best paper awards, community service awards, and admission as an Eminent Engineer into Tau Beta Pi. His research on passive radon-resistant new residential building construction was adapted in HB1647 building code of Florida Legislature. Najafi is a member of numerous professional societies and has served on many committees and programs, and continuously attends and presents refereed papers at international, national, and local professional meetings and conferences. Lastly, Najafi attends courses, seminars and workshops, and has developed courses, videos and software packages during his career. His areas of specialization include transportation planning and management, legal aspects, construction contract administration, public works and renewable energy.

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Mona Alsaffar University of Florida

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Serafina C. Schwerer


Nicholas Brown University of Florida

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I am 2013 graduate of the University of Florida with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. I was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, working as a Civil Engineer. I've worked as an Environmental Program Manager and as a Section Commander. I'm currently attending the University of Florida via distance learning to earn my M.E. in Environmental Engineering.

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Josias Ouedraogo

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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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