Essay on Desalination

1463 Words Oct 31st, 2014 6 Pages
DESALINATION OF SEAWATER IN THE UAE

1. Desalination: What is it? Desalination is the process through which excess salts and other minerals are removed from seawater so that it can be used safely as drinking water both for human and animal consumption. This water can also be used for irrigation or in industries.

The need for desalination? Desalination is needed where there is a shortage of natural drinking water due to a lack of water that comes about through rainfall. This is especially so in the Middle East which lies in one of the driest regions of the world. These places with low or no rainfall need to rely on other forms of water provision. It is for this reason that seawater is used to provide the water that is necessary
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However, these have been upgraded and improved (Hamed, 2004), notably in the UAE with increased capacity.
All of the desalination plants are powered by gas turbines and also use backpressure steam turbines. The backpressure steam being produces is harnessed as an energy source.
During all of the time of the desalination plants and processes, continuous improvements are and have been made to cut costs as well as emissions. Also, the salt extraction processes have moved from simple desalination and distillation to pre-treatment and salt-extraction through filters and membranes before distillation (Hamed, 2004; National Research Council,2008).

Costs & cost cutting:

Desalination plants are both energy- and cost-intensive units of production. The MSF process plants have been improved over the years and resulted in much more cost-effective desalination plants (Hamed, 2004; Dailey, 2011). Costs involved include capital outlay, operation, maintenance as well as energy costs. Technological improvements can ensure longer lifespans of plants (especially of corrosion), as well as lower carbon and heat emissions (Al-Shayji, 1998; Hamed, 2004). Dailey (2011) reports that the UAE is currently testing the option of using solar power to drive its desalination plants. The need for this cost-cutting power source is twofold. One, it will save a lot of money for the government and the water

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