Low cost desalination process for rural and coastal communities

EPA Grant Number: SU836130
Title: Low cost desalination process for rural and coastal communities
Investigators: Gude, Veera Gnaneswar
Institution: Mississippi State University
EPA Project Officer: Sergeant, Anne
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Awards , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Sustainability , P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemicals

Objective:

Low temperature desalination using waste heat sources or solar collectors is an attractive option since the energy required for desalination can be provided with minimal cost and environmental pollution. The main objective of this design project is to investigate the technical feasibility of a multi-effect low temperature desalination process with higher thermodynamic efficiency and low environmental impact.

Approach:

1) Design and development of novel multi-effect desalination unit powered by solar collectors; 2) Demonstrate the new desalination process (multi-stage experiments at different feed rates, brine withdrawal rates, and evaporation temperatures using solar collectors); and 3) Demonstrate the process with solar/PV thermal collectors for combined energy-water production.

Expected Results:

Developing energy-efficient low temperature desalination processes will conserve high quality water/energy sources for other beneficial uses while eliminating environmental pollution. The proposed desalination system does not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions either directly or indirectly and is a sustainable process. This research and design project will provide opportunities for graduate/undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience in design, fabrication, and pilot scale testing, and modeling of the desalination processes. This research-design project can have far-reaching benefits by providing safe potable water in an affordable and sustainable manner.

Supplemental Keywords:

Desalination, vacuum, solar collectors, PV-Thermal collectors, sustainability, environmental impact