The course provides theoretical and practical aspects of water desalination technologies. Fundamental thermodynamics and transport processes which govern the creation of fresh water from saline water are discussed. The technologies of existing and future desalination systems are presented, with a focus on membrane-based separation and thermal separation: technological, economic, and environmental factors which limit the performance or the affordability of these systems are highlighted. Emerging materials and technologies for desalination will be also discussed. This course is organized within the framework of the CleanWaterCenter, the interdepartmental center of Politecnico di Torino devoted to research and innovation of water treatment technologies.
Introduction to saline waters and desalination
Characteristics of saline waters and seawater in particular. Compositions, concentrations, and osmotic pressure.
Gibbs energy and chemical activity. Work of separation.
Reverse osmosis (RO): RO system engineering. Fouling. Energy of separation in RO. Economics and environmental impacts of RO-based desalination plants. Materials used in RO membranes. Emerging materials
Innovative membrane-based processes
Introduction to thermal desalination. Technologies based on distillation.
Solar energy. Collection and desalination systems.