Publisher: Chemical Society of Nigeria

Solar Powered Seawater Desalination : A Potential Solution To Future Global Water Crisis

V. K. Sharma, C. N. Anyanwu, I. S. Eze, O. U. Oparaku
KEYWORDS: desalination, reverse osmosis, fresh water, distillation, solar energy.


The world's water consumption rate is doubling every 20 years, outpacing by two times the rate of population growth. It is projected that around 25% of the total world population do not have an adequate quality and quantity of fresh water supply and by the year 2025 water demand will exceed supply by 56%, as 1.8 billion people will be living in regions with absolute water scarcity due to persistent regional droughts, shifting of the population to urban coastal cities, and water needed for industrial growth. In view of the fact that water provisioning costs are high and will continue to rise in the near future, whereas nearly 97% of the world water resource is sea water, there is a need to consider using desalination technologies to produce potable water from sea water. The high cost of conventional grid powered desalination processes is a good justification for the adoption of Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) coupled with the fact that most isolated areas are in greater need for fresh water supply. Solar energy technologies, in particular provide attractive coupling options to proven desalination technologies; especially the use of Photovoltaics (PV) with Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants and appear to be a solution to future global water crisis.

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