High Efficiency Desalination of water at High Temperatures

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Background: A modern concentrated solar thermal collection system can concentrate sunlight and collect thermal energy at relatively high temperatures. Using concentrated solar thermal energy for desalination has been widely recognized recently in arid areas where solar energy is abundant . Combination of a thermal-driven desalination system with a thermal power plant also has been applied in industry to utilize exhaust heat from a power plant for water treatment . A very challenging issue in thermal-driven desalination is that the operating temperatures have to be low enough (less than 70 oC) either in a multi-stage flash distillation (MSF) system or a multi-effect evaporation (MEE) system in order to avoid scaling on heat transfer surfaces degrading heat transfer and even leading to system failure. Conventional desalination systems extract as little as 10-15% water from seawater before the concentrated brine is pumped back to sea . Inland desalination has no such convenient sink for concentrated brines leading to costly energy-demanding solutions to brine disposal problems. Therefore it is desirable that water and salts are fully separated in a desalination plant which thus can greatly reduce the amount of seawater needed and at the same time lower power consumption. Technology Description: This technology proposes a novel design for a desalination system which overcomes these issues. This design is centered around a method for facilitating extremely high efficient heat transfer between seawater/brackish water and high temperature heat-carrying fluid more specifically involving atomizing water droplets and heat transfer from hot air flows. This process mimics a natural phenomenon in hot summer conditions in which a rain droplet is vaporized before falling to the ground. Applications: This product is a desalination system which can be used in a variety of conditions to both efficiently separate salt and other minerals from water as well as simultaneously collect pure water. It has commercial applications both to the mining and mineral collection industry as well as the drinking water industry.

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