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

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

Mar 7th, 2017
Content Dam Ww Online Articles 2017 03 Ghantoot

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.

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