Designing Nanotechnology-enabled Environmentally Sustainable Desalination Systems
K. Andrews, M. Clark, C. DeMeireles, S. Peleg, A. Taylor and A. Whillock
Adventium Labs, US
Nanotechnology, desalination, carbon nanotube filter, solar pond, zero discharge, distillation, water quality, energy efficiency
Many people around the world do not have clean drinking water. Nanotechnology supporting filtration, distillation, and energy generation can produce potable water that meets U.S. drinking water standards in an environmentally responsible way. This paper discusses the conceptual design of a fully integrated process using nanotube membrane filtration, distillation and solar ponds. Sea water is filtered using subsurface intake galleries to remove large debris and sea life. Following pretreatment to filter out sand, the water is sent to the single pass nanotube membrane filter made from carbon nanotubes imbedded in a ceramic matrix material. Nanotube filter reject brine is sent to a distillation unit to produce additional water. The distillation reject brine is either sent to a brine concentrator to create crystallized salt or to a solar pond. The lower layer of the solar pond helps heat the water while the upper layer of the pond provides cooling water for the distillation unit. The total product water combined from the nanotube filter, the distillation unit, and the brine concentrator effluents will have a concentration of less than the current drinking water standard of 500 mg/l total dissolved solids. Approximately 99.8 percent of the sea water is recovered as drinking water.
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Nanotech 2007 Conference Program Abstract