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Title: An Assessment of Renewable Energies in a Seawater Desalination Plant with Reverse Osmosis Membranes
Authors: León Zerpa, Federico Antonio 
Ramos Martín, Alejandro 
UNESCO Clasification: 330806 Regeneración del agua
3308 Ingeniería y tecnología del medio ambiente
332205 Fuentes no convencionales de energía
Keywords: desalination
Renewable energies
Reverse osmosis membranes
Issue Date: 2021
Project: Mitigación del cambio climático a través de la innovación en el ciclo del agua mediante tecnologías bajas en carbono 
Journal: Membranes 
Abstract: The purpose of our study was to reduce the carbon footprint of seawater desalination plants that use reverse osmosis membranes by introducing on-site renewable energy sources. By using new-generation membranes with a low energy consumption and considering wind and photovoltaic energy sources, it is possible to greatly reduce the carbon footprint of reverse osmosis plants. The objective of this study was to add a renewable energy supply to a desalination plant that uses reverse osmosis technology. During the development of this research study, photovoltaic energy was discarded as a possible source of renewable energy due to the wind conditions in the area in which the reverse osmosis plant was located; hence, the installation of a wind turbine was considered to be the best option. As it was a large-capacity reverse osmosis plant, we decided to divide the entire desalination process into several stages for explanation purposes. The desalination process of the facility consists of several phases: First, the seawater capture process was performed by the intake tower. This water was then transported and stored, before going through a physical and chemical pre-treatment process, whereby the highest possible percentage of impurities and organic material was eliminated in order to prevent the plugging of the reverse osmosis modules. After carrying out the appraisals and calculating the amount of energy that the plant consumed, we determined that 15% of the plant’s energy supply should be renewable, corresponding to 1194 MWh/year. As there was already a wind power installation in the area, we decided to use one of the wind turbines that had already been installed—specifically, an Ecotecnia turbine (20–150) that produced an energy of 1920 MWh /year. This meant that only a single wind turbine was required for this project.
ISSN: 2077-0375
DOI: 10.3390/membranes11110883
Source: Membranes [ISSN 2077-0375], v. 11(11), , 883, (Noviembre 2021)
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