Desalination alternatives

Desalination Plants: The folks at U Texas El Paso have been very helpful in my efforts to understand groundwater and inland desalination.  Also, Peter Williams has been helpful in my quest to understand desalination.  He notes that while very popular, Reverse-Osmosis desal is not necessarily the clear favorite these days- there are new alternatives out there that promise much lower energy consumption.  Forward osmosis, ion-stripping (check out www.saltworks.com, as an example), low pressure flash desal, and others.   Brine disposal is absolutely a huge issue – especially groundwater brine which can have boron, arsenic, selenium and who-knows what else in it – usually, these contaminants are naturally occurring, but they become concentrated by the desalination process.    IBM is a major user of RO filtration to create ultra-pure water for chip manufacturing.  IBM has ultra-pure water engineers at our Burlington Fab.

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