Water. desalination + reuse

August-September 2012

Water. Desalination + reuse

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RESEARCH New Produced Water Research Centre holds first event Australia's new Produced Water Research Centre (PWRC) is to hold a workshop on Saline Effluents at the centre at Sydney's Macquarie University in early October 2012. Sustainable management of saline effluent is a major operational and environmental challenge, particularly for industries faced with large volumes of produced water such as mining and unconventional gas production. The vision of the PWRC is to: build national capacity in the science, knowledge and impacts of produced water develop, advise and train professionals to understand, predict and mitigate the impacts of produced water inform management decisions to understand, predict and mitigate the impacts of water production and use. The 1½-day workshop on 8-9 October 2012 will guide participants through best practices for sampling design, analysis, interpretation and classification of saline effluents generated in energy, water, resources and food industries. It will also provide a forum to discuss how such practices can help in developing water quality signatures for a better understanding of temporal and spatial variation in water quality parameters. Further information on the PWRC, its research activities and the workshop are available on the centre's website: producedwater.science.mq.edu.au Electrode desalination without an applied current A group of European researchers have evolved a desalination technology by creating an ion adsorption/desorption cycle without using an applied cell voltage. In a paper for the American Chemical Society's Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2012, 3 (12)), the researchers, who work at the Wetsus centre and Wageningen University in the Netherlands, describe their development as Water Desalination With Wires http://pubs.acs.org/doi/ full/10.1021/jz3005514. Their novel capacitive technology involves anode/cathode wire pairs constructed from electrically conducting rods coated with a thin porous electrode layer of carbon. By alternately dipping an array of electrode pairs in fresh water and brine without an applied voltage, an ion adsorption/desorption cycle can be created. They have shown experimentally how, in six subsequent cycles, the salinity of a brackish feedwater (20 mM – millimolars) can be reduced by a factor of 3. Potable water has a salinity of <15 mM. Though unsuitable for seawater desalination, the researchers believe their method could compete with other technologies in certain brackish situations because of its low cost. Desalination test seeks sponsors A competition to find innovative and sustainable methods of desalination is about to be held again by students and researchers at Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany and is looking for sponsors. The TUM Desal Challenge, which was last held in 2011, was initiated by the Lehrstuhl für Thermodynamik (TUM). The 2013 competition will be launched in October 2012 by TUSun – Students for Sustainable Development, eight students and three research assistants from the thermodynamics faculty. The group is look to raise around € 50,000. Potential sponsors should contact Alexander Kroiss at kroiss@td.mw.tum.de, tel: +49 89 289 16237. Details of the 2011 competition are available at www.mehrwasser.de/en/. | 46 | Desalination & Water Reuse | August-September 2012 Tool evaluates energy-usage for desalination and reuse The WateReuse Association has just published a report on the Water-Energy Simulator (WESim), an easy-to-use analytical tool that allows users to evaluate the energy and greenhouse-gas implications of water management decisions. Implications of Future Water Supply Sources for Energy Demands (08-16-1, 2012) has been compiled by Heather Cooley of the Pacific Institute and Robert Wilkinson from the University of California at Santa Barbara. The WESim tool is suitable for individual water utilities and groups of water utilities, as well as policy and decision-makers. The report provides background information on the model, including its basic form and structure, with a detailed user guide for WESim included as a companion to the report. New coalition to coordinate research on membrane disposal A coalition to coordinate applied research programmes to alleviate the disposal of used desalination and water treatment membranes was launched at the Singapore International Water Week on 1 July 2012. The Coalition for Sustainable Membrane Development was founded by a group of not-for-profit and non-governmental organisations, equipment manufacturers and water utilities to develop innovative solutions to manage the growing volumes of used membrane elements that are discarded each year from desalination, water reuse and drinking water plants around the world. The group seeks to proactively develop market/social mechanisms to turn "waste" into a resource that can benefit developing communities and reduce the environmental footprint of the world's membrane industry.

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