“Green” Desalination


Photo credit: AZO Cleantech

This desalination plant in Israel, called Sorek, is currently the world’s largest, producing 625,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day. Boris Liberman, chief technology officer of IDE Technologies, the company that built this and several other huge desalination plants in Israel and California, was among the speakers at MIT’s Low Carbon Desalination Workshop, which explored the potential for reducing the carbon footprint of such facilities. (Photo courtesy IDE Technologies)

Experts Gather at MIT to Prepare Roadmap for “Green” Desalination

Written by AZoCleantech

Considered one of the most significant turnarounds ever accomplished in relation to a natural resource emergency, Israel has overcome a threatening fresh water scarcity within a decade.

Currently, the country has such a large water surplus it exports large quantities to its parched neighboring countries. The turnaround was achieved with the construction of the largest desalination plants in the world. The desalination plants convert the Mediterranean seawater into potable water for both domestic purposes as well as agriculture.

Although this excess water is an important example for countries around the world that are dealing with water shortages, it also has an environmental impact: Desalination plants consume a lot of energy, the production of which would require fossil fuels to be burnt in large power plants.

To solve that issue and prepare a roadmap for future research and demonstrations, some of the world’s leading experts in the technology, regulatory issues involving desalination, and economics recently gathered at MIT.

They talked about a way to remove the salt from seawater or brackish aquifers at all scales, from small, local installations to the large megaprojects as seen in Israel, while reducing or eliminating the related greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the full article: AZO Cleantech

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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