UAE University researchers develop low-energy desalination system

File photo
File photo

Abu Dhabi - The new system will dramatically reduce energy consumption during the desalination process


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 22 Sep 2021, 11:07 AM

Researchers at the UAE University (UAEU) have invented a new desalination system that dramatically reduces energy consumption during the desalination process.

By developing the new desalination system, scientists in the university’s National Water and Energy Center have made an unprecedented scientific advance that has the potential to revolutionize the water desalination industry.

The traditional desalination systems involve processes of heating, re-condensation, and evaporation as well as the use of fine membranes that allow the water to pass without salt.

These processes, including Thermal and Reverse Osmosis desalination systems consume vast amounts of energy. In contrast, UAEU scientists made a direct application of the theoretical principles of thermodynamics and the conservation of mass and energy to discover that water can be desalination by using a combination of high and low pressures.

“Saline water is first pushed at high pressure through a pipeline with the venturi device in which the speed of the water is increased and its pressure is reduced to allow for evaporation with no or minimum heating,” explained the researchers adding that the water is then turned into steam by containing it at very low pressure.

After re-condensation, the water is fully desalinated.

The low-energy desalination system has been granted a patent by the US Patents and Trademarks Office. This adds to the total of more than 178 patents obtained by scientists at the UAE University in areas of national priority. It is further evidence of the support provided by the university for the sustainable development plans of the UAE.

Last month, UAE University researchers said they were carrying out a study on sustainable innovations in the food industry in the UAE. The UAEU Center for Public Policy and Leadership ‎researchers said they were working on this research study, ‎“Sustainable Innovations in the UAE Food ‎Industry”, which aims to investigate the ‎internal environmental factors such as physical ‎assets, financial and external resources, government ‎support and market dynamics that affect sustainable ‎agricultural innovations and their impact on the ‎success of food industry companies. ‎

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