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Title: Climate change mitigation strategy through membranes replacement and determination methodology of carbon footprint in reverse osmosis ro desalination plants for islands and isolated territories
Authors: Leon, Federico
Ramos Martín, Alejandro 
Vaswani, Jenifer
Mendieta, Carlos
Brito, Saulo
UNESCO Clasification: 330801 Control de la contaminación atmosférica
330806 Regeneración del agua
Keywords: Carbon Footprint
Ecological Footprint
Energy Consumption
Energy Mix
Reverse Osmosis
Issue Date: 2021
Journal: Water (Switzerland) 
Abstract: This article shows a climate change mitigation strategy by means of membranes replacement and determination methodology of carbon footprint in reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plants, valid for all the islands, and even isolated territories in the continent. This study takes the case of study of Canary Islands, where there are more than 320 desalination plants with different sizes, private, and public. The objective is to propose a new method which integrates this analysis with the replacement of membranes, from 0% to 20% per year in sea water reverse osmosis desalination plants, to reduce the carbon footprint and ecological footprint. If it is considered a replacement of 20% of the elements per year, the carbon footprint could be reduced to between 5% and 6% and even more if it is introduced low energy consumption membranes instead of high rejection elements. The factor mix in Canary Islands, according to the technological structure of the generation park that uses oil products, is around 0.678 kgCO2 /kWh, much higher than in the Spanish mainland where it is 0.263 kgCO2 /kWh. Therefore, it is estimated in Canary Islands 5,326,963 t CO2 /year can be emitted, which represents 2.4 tCO2 /person/year, 12 times more the admissible admissions per inhabitant in the Canary Islands, only considering the seawater desalination sector. This document shows the different results of the analysis of energy efficiency and the environmental footprints. This study may serve as a tool for the decision-making processes related to how to improve energy efficiency in desalination plants.
DOI: 10.3390/w13030293
Source: Water (Switzerland)[EISSN 2073-4441],v. 13 (3), p. 1-17, (Febrero 2021)
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