May 28, 2013 in Blog Articles

Desalination is an expensive exercise due to the high cost of energy which accounts for half the the entire bill. Using reverse osmosis, water is forced through very fine membrane that captures the salt and other minerals leaving the water ready for drinking.But the law of thermal dynamic dictates that energy is required to separate the salt from the water.According to the Pacific Institute an average desalination plant consumes 15 000 kilowatt hours of power to produce about 4 million liters of water whereas a wastewater treatment plant requires a little more than half the energy to produce the same amount of water.Also to be considered is the high capital cost and the fact that desalination plants do not last as long as traditional water treatment plants. This means that the capital cost needs to be amortised over a relatively short life. Then too there is the environmental impact. The high energy consumption leads to greenhouse gas production and the salt extracted has to be disposed of which adds to costs.The next generation of deslaination plants intend to combine solar water heating with an enhanced method of reverse osmosis which is claimed will use 80 per cent less energy.Meanwhile Filcon Filters’ partners will be happy to discuss desalination problems with interested parties. Filcon is a leading liquid filtration company in southern Africa.