Green Economy water

Published on November 16th, 2009 | by Paul O'Callaghan

0

Cheaper Desalination – Saltworks Breakthrough

November 16th, 2009 by  

water

Paul O’Callaghan is CEO of Cleantech consultancy firm, O2 Environmental Inc. and author of Water Technology Markets.

Canadian firm, Saltworks Technologies, just came out of stealth in relation to their desalination technology, which they claim reduce the electrical energy required for desalination by over 70%. They report they can produce 1m3 of water with 1kW hour of electrical energy, compared to the 3.7kWhr per m3, which is what is currently achievable using reverse osmosis with the use of energy recovery devices.

[social_buttons]So how to they do it? Well its novel. It appears to be a new approach. And novel and new are two things scarce as hens teeth in relation to desalination technologies.

They use solar heat (or waste heat) to evaporate water and concentrate salt water. They are converting solar energy into osmotic energy by doing this. They then use this osmotic energy to desalinate water.

They then expose the concentrated salt water to two separate solutions of regular salt water via two different ‘bridges’, one which is porous to chloride ions, the second which is porous to sodium ions.

The sodium and chloride ions migrate across the respective bridges into the salt water solutions to equalize the difference in ion concentration between the solutions.

This creates two charged solutions, one enriched with sodium ions (positively charged), the second enriched with chloride ions (negatively charged).

These two solutions are then exposed across two similar bridges to the water to be desalinated. This draws sodium ions into the chloride enriched solution and draws chloride ions into the sodium enriched solution: Net result desalination.  Doing this they reckon they can produce 1m3 of water using 1kWh of electrical energy, which is used to pump fluids around the pipework.

Because the system is not under pressure, they can use plastic pipes instead of steel pipes, potentially reducing capital costs also.

I met with Saltworks about six months ago in Vancouver and I was impressed by the methodical way they have been going about technology commercialization. Despite winning a technology innovation award in British Columbia in May 2009, they have kept this remarkably quiet.

An article in the Economist provides a good review of this.

Image credit: Snap a creative commons via Flickr

 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,


About the Author

Paul O'Callaghan is the founder and CEO of O2 Environmental, a leading consultancy providing expertise and analysis on water technology market opportunities. Paul also founded BlueTech® Research, a subsidiary of O2 Environmental, which provides intelligence services to clients to identify key opportunities and trends in the global water industry. Paul holds a bachelor’s in biochemistry and a master’s degree in water resource management. He authored and addressed numerous papers on emerging treatment technologies, guest lectured at Harvard Business School, presented on the Discovery Channel, and delivered keynotes at numerous international events, including the Singapore International Water Week TechXchange Workshop.



Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares