Following 30 years during which the membrane hasn’t changed much, researchers have introduced a new method for making the membranes used to turn saltwater fresh. Commercial water desalination makes use of thin composite membranes that feature an ultrathin layer of a polyamide film full of pores. The pores are large enough to allow water to flow through, but too small for salt ions in saltwater to slip by. These films are grown on the surface of the composite membranes through a chemical reaction between an amine in a water phase and an acid chloride in an oil phase. However, this method results in a relatively thick and rough polyamide film (between 100 and 200 nanometers in thickness), which impact the desalinization efficiency of the membrane. Despite the processes’ limitations, it’s remained the industry standard for decades. Here, Maqsud Chowdhury et al. advance an additive method of polyamide formation, which allows for greater control over both the thickness and texture of the ultrathin films, by building them layer by molecular layer. According to the authors, while others have advanced similar approaches, the complex methods involved in their approaches are difficult to scale for commercial production. Chowdhury et al., by contrast, used an electrospray technique. In this method, high
Melburnians are being asked to watch their water use as new figures from Melbourne Water show dam levels fell by 64 billion litres (3.5 per cent of capacity) during the 2017/18 summer. Despite rainfall around 27 per cent above average during summer 2017/18, an extremely dry February in 2018 and an increase in water use had seen storages dip over the season. Melbourne Water General Manager, Integrated Planning, Chris Williams, said storage levels were declining. “We have had a particularly dry February (2018) and when combined with slightly higher water usage, we have seen an impact on our storage levels,” Mr Williams said. As of March 2018, Melbourne’s storages were 63 per cent full with levels expected to decline further over autumn before improving during winter and spring. Melburnians are being urged to ‘Target 155’ following the summer storage dip. While Melburnians are still very water wise, Melbourne’s growing population and climate variability are putting increasing pressure on overall water use. “Water use over summer 2017/18 was up 2.5 per cent, or 33 million litres compared with the previous summer,” Mr Williams said. “Individually though, we only need to save around six litres of water per person, per day, to get back to the target of 155 litres.” “That means doing a few little things around the house like taking shorter showers and using mulch on your garden to reduce water evaporation can easily bring water use back to the desired level.” Following a very wet start to December 2017 , Melbourne’s water storage levels reached their high for summer on 13 December, at 69.7 per cent before falling to 65.0 per cent on 28 February 2018 after a dry month. Without the water supplied by the Victorian Desalination Plant in 2017, storage levels would be 3.4 per cent lower. February 2017 rainfall was 69 per ent below average with only 18mm falling around the catchments. This led to reduced streamflow into water storages – down 46 per cent on February 2017. It was even drier across Melbourne with most stations observing totals less than 10 per cent of their February average which resulted in drier parks and gardens, leading to this summer’s increased water use. (Link)
Chief among the recommendations proposed at the closing session were encouraging the media to spread water awareness among the population, expanding the use of unconventional water resources, for example, desalinated seawater and treated wastewater, and supporting water-related projects and technologies. Noor Ahmed Abdel Moneim, an expert on strategic water management, backed the proposals. “The recommendations are good, especially those related to developing water awareness among citizens,” Abdel Moneim told Al-Monitor. “It is also necessary to develop the water desalination mechanisms currently in place, increase the use of groundwater and ration water use in water-consuming agriculture, such as rice and sugarcane.” He further stated, “Egypt suffers from water poverty. Its share of the Nile water has been 55.5 billion cubic meters since 1959, back when the population stood at 25 million. This means that the average per capita share was about 2,000 cubic meters per year compared to less than 600 cubic meters per year now, with the difference being driven by significant population growth. As the world average per capita share stands at 1,000 cubic meters, this means that Egypt is below the water poverty line.” Abdel Moneim assessed, “Egypt’s current water consumption is 76.5 billion cubic meters per year, which means that there is a deficit of about 21 billion cubic meters of water that Egypt is trying to compensate for either by reusing agricultural, health and industrial drainage water or by expanding the use of underground water.”
Khaled Kamel, vice president of energy and export at Schneider Electric’s Egypt and North East Africa office, told Daily News Egypt that the proposed desalination plants will be implemented over several stages, starting with a capacity of 300 cubic metres of water per day. He added that Seven Seas will secure the required funding for the projects and sell the desalinated water to the government for 20 years. Kamel added that the American company offered to sell desalinated water at EGP 17 per cubic metre, but the government asserted that the maximum acceptable rate is EGP 5. The two sides agreed to build the project in the North Coast or South Sinai. He further added that the company’s current focus is on negotiations with the government regarding the implementation of water projects and the price of allocated lands, as well as ways of exempting the plants from taxes or customs. Kamel asserted Schneider Electric’s interest in participating with the Ministry of Housing in the desalination projects, adding that the company has developed a study on the public sector’s partnership model with the private sector on desalination projects in preparation to discuss it with the Egyptian officials. He said that the company will complete the implementation of another four desalination plants this month with a capacity of 600,000 cubic metres per day. The company can run the water plants on solar power with a plan to participate in repair and upgrade works to water and sewage plants. Kamel also revealed that Schneider Electric presented a request to Rosatom to participate in supplying equipment to the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant. The company also presented a report to the Minister of Military Production Mohamed Al-Assar on its factories in France and their capabilities. Source: Daily News Egypt
New initiative to manage and operate Taweelah A2 combined cycle power and desalination plant by the UAE nationals for one month starting 4 March 2018
The initiative comes in line with the company’s directives towards enhancing the role of Emiratis and honing their capabilities to assume leading positions in the future. It complements Emirates CMS initial experiment where qualified Emirati personnel operated the plant for 24 hours without any external support or assistance. Abdulla Ali Al Sheryani, chairman of ECPC, explained that the initiative is a step towards enabling the UAE nationals in achieving leadership in the global energy sector, which is strategically important as a major component of economic diversification and a cornerstone of national progress. Al Sheryani added, “Abu Dhabi has made significant achievements in terms of engaging the UAE national personnel in promoting a comprehensive and sustainable development, in line with the ‘Emiratisation’ initiative launched by the federal government to increase UAE nationals’ employment in the labour market.” “We have also received strong support and cooperation from the private sector to create an attractive environment that stimulates entrepreneurship, creativity, excellence and leadership for promising Emirati citizens,” he added. Al Sheryani explained that the department of energy is committed to implementing the privatisation programme to increase the production capacity of water and electricity to meet development needs in partnership with the private sector. This will help the Abu Dhabi government in achieving its goal of creating a sustainable water and electricity that ensures optimum utilisation of resources. He also pointed out that the Taweelah A2 plant is a success story as one of the plants under the privatisation programme for the utility sector, which has succeeded in attracting leading international companies and forging alliances with them. According to him, “The program also helped in developing services, increasing government revenues and enhancing the rate of Emiratisation in private companies, in line with the government’s efforts to doubling the number of UAE nationals working in the private sector by 2021.” Ahmed Bin Abbood Al Adawi, executive managing director of ECPC, said, “This initiative is a major step towards the Emiratisation of the energy sector, which is among the strategic priorities of our wise leadership confident in Emiratis’ capabilities in advancing one of the most vital sectors of the economy that promote the inclusive and sustainable development process in Abu Dhabi.” “Qualified Emiratis working with Emirates CMS Power Company have significantly increased by 50 per cent, particularly in the technical section. This shows the efficiency of the Emiratis and their ability to play a key role in exploring and shaping the future of energy, based on the strong foundations of innovation, sustainability and excellence,” Al Adawi noted.
UAE is using, on a trial basis, salt-tolerant algae, also known as halophytic algae, as a natural and sustainable method to decrease salinity in seawater.
UAE is using, on a trial basis, salt-tolerant algae — also known as halophytic algae — as a natural and sustainable method to decrease salinity in seawater. “Once proved cost-effective, this cutting-edge technology will make the UAE the first country in the world to use salt-tolerant algae to desalinate water,” the minister said. Some species of salt-tolerant algae can absorb up to 50 times more salt than the concentration of salt in the water they inhabit, making them a natural way to desalinate water for portable use. In addition, the growing algae can be used to mitigate carbon dioxide from point source emissions. Once the algae has been used for desalination, it can then be harvested and used as a raw material for biofuel production to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Al Mazroui said while complete desalination can’t be achieved with algae alone, this method can serve as a pre-treatment to other desalination technologies, reducing the energy footprint and financial costs of desalination while making the process more sustainable, reported Gulf News
Ein weiteres Projekt wird es in der Materialforschung geben, die verbesserte Entsalzung von Meerwasser soll gefördert werden. Da Millionen Menschen weltweit keinen oder nur einen schlechten Zugang zu sauberem Wasser haben, soll mithilfe einer membranbasierten Technologie ein umweltfreundlicher Entsalzungsprozess mit niedrigen Kosten und geringem Energieverbrauch entwickelt werden.
Startup Mattershift says it has achieved a breakthrough in making carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes at large scale. The startup is developing the technology’s ability to combine and separate individual molecules to make gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel using CO2 removed from the air. In an open-access paper in Science Advances, researchers from Mattershift and colleagues in the labs of Dr. Benny Freeman at The University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Jeffrey McCutcheon at the University of Connecticut confirmed that Mattershift’s large-scale CNT membranes match the characteristics and performance of small prototype CNT membranes previously reported on in the scientific literature.
(Reuters) – Chile’s state-owned mining company Codelco, the largest copper producer in the world, received environmental approval this week to build a $1 billion desalination plant to supply water to its operations in the country’s northern region. The go-ahead from the Antofagasta region’s environmental regulator will allow the company to expand its Radomiro Tomic mine and advance with an ambitious investment plan in its water-intensive mining operations in one of the driest deserts in the world. (LINK)