Only 1% of the water in the Earth is suitable for human consumption, which implies, according to the United Nations, that more than 700 million people have no access to drinkable water. That´s the reason why the desalination is being consolidated as a solution to the water supply challenge.
There are many ways to desalinate water: distillation, separating membranes and freezing. The best method to balance the production of water, compared to the cost of implantation and development, is reverse osmosis (R.O.), which involves the separation by the use of membranes, in which Spain is world leader. This process of reverse osmosis takes place when two liquids of different concentrations make contact, originating a phenomenon named diffusion in which the concentrations of both liquids tend to equalize.
When both liquids are separate by a semi-permeable membrane, the liquid with a lower concentration passes through the membrane towards the liquid with a higher concentration. This phenomenon is called osmosis. In reverse osmosis this process is inverted through the application of a pressure up to 70 bar, through which two currents appear: one of fresh water and another of brine. The fresh water then needs to be mineralized to be suitable for human consumption.
The process of osmosis has a conversion on 45%, therefore, to obtain 45 parts of desalinate water it is necessary 100 parts of raw water.
The main components of a desalination station are:
- Pump System
- Pre-treatment and filtering plant
- Osmosis Plant (High-pressure pump and Energy recovering)
- Post-treatment (remineralization)
- Distribution System
- Predictive inspections.
- Specific inspections of main components.
- Inspections on general conditions and incident evaluations.
- Legal expertise.
- Management of incidents and machinery breakdown.
- Energy assets management, including associate service contracts.
- Cause Analysis Reports (RCA).
- Economic and Profitability Analysis.
- Estimate in lost production.
- Environmental analysis (environmental assessments, environmental impact, flora and fauna, etc.).