Trevi Systems reports “lowest energy use” from forward osmosis desalination trial in Abu Dhabi

March 7, 2017
Results have started emerging from the five desalination trials in Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi which are now either finished or reaching their end... 

ABU DHABI, UAE – Results have started emerging from the five desalination trials in Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi which are now either finished or reaching their end.

Led by Abu Dhabi organisation Masdar, four companies – Veolia/Sidem, SUEZ, Abengoa and Trevi Systems were invited to set up small scale desalination systems.

Later on, French company Mascara Engineering then joined the site as the fifth company with a trial designed to test off-grid, solar powered desalination for remote locations and told WWi the results in January.

US firm Trevi Systems is now three quarters of the way through its trial, following delays at the start.

Compared to the other trials, this one has a much lower energy target of 1 kilowatt hour per cubic metre (kWh/m3) and it’s currently achieving 1.3 kWh/m3 to 1.4 kWh/m3.

Speaking to WWi magazine, John Webley, chairman and CEO of the company said “across the entire plant, you are talking about a few light bulbs and the computer that are causing us to miss our target”.

This trial aims to be finished by April and consists of a 50 m3/day forward osmosisinstallation using a thermos-solute draw solution to create the osmotic pressure needed to desalinate the water.

Waste heat causes a phase separation of the ‘draw solute’, producing water and a concentrate draw solute.

Webley says the next stage is to develop a 500 m3/day project in the Middle East, powered entirely by renewables. Site selection is currently taking place with a number of developers reportedly interested. “We intend to run it continuously,” he added.

“This is the first of its kind in the world producing the lowest energy desalination, so it’s going to take a bit of tweaking and tuning.”

- The full article on the Ghantoot site results will be published in the Feb-March edition of WWi magazine.


Read/watch more

Life after Ghantoot: solar powered desalination footprint to be expanded by Mascara

Solar desalination project confirmed as fifth Masdar trial in Abu Dhabi

Scaling up the Middle East’s renewable desalination

Large scale solar desalination race continues in the Middle East

About the Author

Tom Freyberg

Tom Freyberg is an experienced environmental journalist, having worked across a variety of business-to-business titles. Since joining Pennwell in 2010, he has been influential in developing international partnerships for the water brand and has overseen digital developments, including 360 degree video case studies. He has interviewed high level figures, including NYSE CEO’s and Environmental Ministers. A known figure in the global water industry, Tom has chaired and spoken at conferences around the world, from Helsinki, to London and Singapore. An English graduate from Exeter University, Tom completed his PMA journalism training in London.