Low-cost low-enthalpy geothermal heat for freshwater production: innovative applications using thermal desalination processes

Bundschuh, Jochen and Ghaffour, Noreddine and Mahmoudi, Hacene and Goosen, Mattheus and Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Hoinkis, Jan (2015) Low-cost low-enthalpy geothermal heat for freshwater production: innovative applications using thermal desalination processes. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 43. pp. 196-206. ISSN 1364-0321


The study is dedicated to exploring different types of low-cost low-enthalpy geothermal and their potential integration with conventional thermal-based water desalination and treatment technologies to deliver energy efficient, environmentally friendly solutions for water desalination and treatment, addressing global water crises. Our in-depth investigation through reviews of various low-enthalpy geothermal and conventional thermal-based technologies suggest that geothermal option is superior to the solar option if low-cost geothermal heat is available because it provides a constant heat source in contrast to solar. Importantly, the stable heat source further allows up-scaling (>1,000m3/day), which is not currently possible with solar. Solar-geothermal hybrid constellations may also
be suitable in areas where both sources are available. The review also discovers that the innovative Membrane distillation (MD) process is very promising as it can be used for many different water compositions, salinity and temperature ranges. Either the geothermal water itself can be desalinated/treated or the geothermal heat can be used to heat feed water from other sources using heat exchangers. However, there are only few economic analyses for large-scale MD units and these are based on theoretical models using often uncertain assumptions resulting in a large variety of results.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2015 02:05
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2018 00:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: adapting conventional technologies; freshwater production; geothermal powered thermal desalination; geothermal water desalination/treatment; membrane distillation
Fields of Research (2008): 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140205 Environment and Resource Economics
09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090410 Water Treatment Processes
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology
Fields of Research (2020): 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics
40 ENGINEERING > 4004 Chemical engineering > 400411 Water treatment processes
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3707 Hydrology > 370799 Hydrology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961204 Rehabilitation of Degraded Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments
B Economic Development > 85 Energy > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850502 Geothermal Energy
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2014.10.102
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26486

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