Low Temp Desalination Technology From New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute

This low-energy input "desalinization" system design is quite clever. "A prototype built on the NMSU campus in Las Cruces [New Mexico] can produce enough pure water continuously to supply a four-person household, said Nirmala Khandan, an environmental engineering professor in NMSU’s Department of Civil Engineering. New Mexico and other parts of the world have extensive brackish groundwater resources that could be tapped and purified to augment limited freshwater supplies, but traditional desalination processes such as reverse osmosis and electro-dialysis consume significant amounts of energy. This research project, funded by the NMSU-based New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, explores the feasibility of using low-grade heat – such as solar energy or waste heat from a process such as refrigeration or air conditioning – to run a desalination process...Khandan said the project builds on a process, first developed by researchers in Florida, that makes distillation of saline water possible at relatively low temperatures – 45 to 50 degrees Celsius (113 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit) rather than the 60 to 100 C (140 to 212 F) required by most distillation processes." TreeHugger ruminations: - Waste heat from a CoGen fuel cell or possibly a thermal solar panel might also would do nicely...so waste heat, per. se. seems not to be a prerequisite for functionality. A major HVAC system manufacturer could help mainstream the greening process here - you'd likely need HVAC tech-service people to make the heat recovery hookups work to code anyhow. Local health departments may argue that to keep it safe, the desal output water would need to go through a conventional polishing system with either UV irradiation or chlorine added to suppress any Legionnaires Disease causing critters or molds. Via:: New Mexico State University

Tags: Desalination | New Mexico

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