They are testing a portable desalination plant in the Canary Islands with virtually no energy consumption.

An international consortium led by Spanish researchers is testing a new technology that can desalinate water at the Canary Islands Ocean Platform (Plocan). to supply small communities or produce hydrogen with minimal energy expenditure; for example, using the residual heat of an industrial machine or the sea itself.

The project, called COOSW, brings together different scientific innovations and technological developments. a plant the size of a standard and portable sea containerDesalinate seawater with multistage vacuum distillation, which produces very pure water with important applications.

According to the people responsible for the project, whose principal researcher is Pedro Arnau of the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (Cimne, Polytechnic University of Catalonia-Generalitat Catalana), the technology is being tested in Gran Canaria. It can be used to bring water for consumption or energy use through hydrogen production to isolated communities, ships or platforms without an electrical connection on the high seas.tourist complexes or humanitarian emergency camps, among other examples.

Presentation of the project with the participation of some scientists ALEJANDRO QUEVEDO

One of the key features of this seawater desalination system by vacuum distillation is the technology used to optimize the process, which requires very little energy (less than 1.7 kWh/m3). can use industrial or renewable waste heat sources such as geothermal, wave energy, heat from machinery or waste from heating systemsnormally dispersed in the atmosphere.

The first pilot test facility operates at Plocan and fits in a standard 20-foot (2.5 meters wide and 6 meters long) shipping container, making it a portable technology that can be tested on the ground.

Also, the residue from the desalination of this water can have different uses.It is low sodium salt and high value-added, which predicts possible application in Asian countries and Chile, as already reviewed by Naeria Navarro and Javier Soraluce, the technical directors of the COOSW project.

COOSW is a collaborative project between Mexico (UNAM), the Dominican Republic (PUCMM), Germany (FRAUNHOFER) and Spain (Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​Plocán and Cimne), coordinated by the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering.

team view plakan

The test carried out on the Canary Islands Ocean Platform, Cool Steam technology consisting of a multi-stage vacuum distillation desalination systemAs a population of 2,500 can be supplied with approximately ten cubic meters of high purity water, it will allow the consolidation of technology with a highly optimized demand for electrical energy and for higher production facilities.

with the least energy

Professor Asier Ibeas of the Autonomous University of Barcelona explained that the usual desalination process consists of evaporating seawater to separate the liquid phase into water vapor and solid salt residue, which requires an energy input. technology with a very small and very efficient process».

This low energy input “can come from residual heat, for example the heat of normally wasted machinery” and in this way “to produce fresh water” and pure enough to have the properties necessary for hydrogen production, and above all, it can be used for both consumption and production “where it is not possible” hydrogen.

Pedro Arnau, principal investigator of the project, this technology has received patents granted and approved in Europe, the United States and India, places that “need water”. and they have isolated communities and these residual heat sources for the system that is currently being wasted.

The researcher stressed that this system has “significant benefits” and that as a result, it can use residual heat and “take advantage of it instead of evacuating and heating the environment”.

This innovation is “key in the current decarbonisation process”for the possibility of avoiding greenhouse gases and being used to produce hydrogen».

“The idea of ​​the project was to take advantage of these opportunities of the environment to produce the much needed water,” he said.

On behalf of the State Research Agency, Joaquín Serrano celebrated the “infrastructure and pooling of knowledge for the scientific community in Europe and Latin America” ​​where Plocán “opened its doors”.

This project, which Plocán Innovation Unit project manager Silvia Hildebrandt underlined at a press conference, emphasized that “it has been a milestone for a successful implementation and strategy”.


Environment department contact

Source: Informacion


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