Distil - Low-Energy Desalination, Water Purification and/or Product Concentration with Regenerative Heat Supply

Technology Overview

Desalinated seawater is becoming an increasingly important source of drinking water due to dwindling clean water sources, population increases and climate change. Desalination, which is the process of removing salt from water to make it potable, is still an energy intensive process based on current technology. We have developed a desalination system based on the principles of membrane distillation that is energetically more efficient and can also be used for water purification and product concentration applications in the industry. At the heart of the developed system are proprietary membranes and a proprietary process that allow for production capacities that are 2-3 times higher than conventional membrane distillation systems. In addition, the water quality coming out of the system is consistently below 200 parts per million of total dissolved solids. The system has been developed to be used with solar energy for applications in locations where both water and electricity are unavailable. The system can also be adapted to tap on waste heat from industries and power plants.   

Technology Features & Specifications

  • Higher production capacity than existing membrane distillation systems
  • Increased membrane lifetime by reduction of pore-wetting
  • High rejection of non-volatile solutes
  • High purity water can be achieved
  • Low energy consumption – at least ½ that of current conventional desalination processes
  • High thermal efficiency thus requiring less footprint
  • Can be carried out without chemical cleaning


Potential Applications

This technology is applicable in the following industries:

Desalination & Water

  • Producing potable water from seawater
  • Recovering potable water from RO brine
  • Recovery of water from landfill leachate
  • Groundwater treatment due to high salinity
  • Concentration of Wastewater and Water Recovery
  • On board ships and rural communities near the coast or brackish water

Market Trends and Opportunities

The desalination market currently estimated to be worth US$9 billion is expected to double by 2016 alone. In terms of water sustainability for industries, this technology addresses both the pollution issue as well as resource recovery issue allowing for both concentration of precious resources as well as recovery of water in a single process where applicable.   

Customer Benefits

  • Source of pure water for drinking or industrial usage
  • Low energy consumption (half of traditional desalination) implies lower operating costs
  • Can be scaled up to between 50-100 cubic meter of water per day

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