Here’s some good news for advanced desalination technology companies.Worldwide desalting capacity is projected to increase by 50 million cubic meters per day over the next six years, according to a recent study by Pike Research.Meanwhile, annual spending on desalination will double by 2016, from $8.3b to $16.6 billion. Spending will total $87.8 billion during that time period.
The study projects the top five desalination markets will be Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the United States, China and Israel.Desalination’s rise can be attributed to decreasing accessible freshwater reserves as well as improvements in desalting technology, such as advanced membrane technologies, energy recovery and closed circuit hydrostatic desalination.
Oasys Water is developing implementations of forward osmosis membranes based on technology developed at Yale. The technology promises to reduce costs for fresh water from desalination by 90%. The process uses artificially salted waters to draw fresh water through membranes and then uses waste heat to boil off the artificial salts, leaving only the fresh water.
Energy Recovery, Inc uses pressure exchangers to recover energy, saving one desalination plant in Perth 15.6 megawatts.
Desalitech does away with energy recovery, opting for closed circuit hydrostatic schemes instead, which equalizes flow rates for the pressurized feed and the permeate, reducing energy usage by 50% and achieving 50% recovery.
One Artemis Top 50 company, Rotech, has developed advances in desalinating brackish water, meaning the 30% of the world’s population living over 80km from the sea can extract fresh water from formerly unusable brackish groundwater.
The efficiencies are such that renewable energy can be affordably harnessed to power desalination plants, resulting in vastly reduced carbon footprints, a vital step to ensuring affordable sustainability as governments begin to levy carbon taxes.