It seems everyone is talking water these days. While the planet is essentially covered in water, 97.5% of it is salt water, and ensuring that we can continue to live the way we always have in the past is certainly going to require more fresh water. Enter desalination. The process of removing the dissolved salt from water, or creating fresh water from seawater, desalination may very well be the key to ensuring fresh water is plentiful on the planet in the years to come.
There are two basic processes utilized in desalination plants around the globe. One of the most important is reverse-osmosis. Essentially the water comes into the plant and undergoes an initial chemical treatment. Screens filter out debris, then heavier solid particles are settled and removed from the water. Sand filters help to remove smaller solids, and then the water proceeds to diatomaceous Earth filters to help eliminate any microscopic materials. Water is pumped in to the reverse osmosis membranes to remove salt, then sent to a holding tank.
Static mixers are used at a number of points in the process, depending on the plant operations. Static mixers help make desalination on a larger scale possible with today’s technology.
The biggest problem with desalination currently is that it’s a tough process. It doesn’t create quite as much yield as one would hope. In some cases, the process is wholly reliant on fossil fuels, another source of growing concern. Many start-ups and innovators, though, are working on unique methods of desalination to help enhance the process, creating sustainable results that are certain to help the planet in the future.