Use of low-enthalpy and waste geothermal energy sources to solve arsenic problems in freshwater production in selected regions of Latin America using a process membrane distillation - research into model solutions

Tomaszewska, Barbara and Bundschuh, Jochen and Pajak, Leszek and Dendys, Marta and Delgado Quezada, Valeria and Bodzek, Michal and Armienta, Maria Aurora and Munoz, Mauricio Ormachea and Kasztelewicz, Aleksandra (2020) Use of low-enthalpy and waste geothermal energy sources to solve arsenic problems in freshwater production in selected regions of Latin America using a process membrane distillation - research into model solutions. Science of the Total Environment, 714:136853. pp. 1-15. ISSN 0048-9697


Abstract

The challenge for many communities in Latin America is to find adequate solutions which are feasible given the local economic and technical conditions and which enable them to source water with arsenic concentrations below the WHO guideline value for drinking water (<10 μg/L) of arsenic (As) pollution, suitable for human consumption and the irrigation of crops. Three regions where geothermal fields are present were selected for study out of the several hundred locations in Latin America where the water environment is contaminated with As and where there is a critical water shortage problem. These are Cerro Prieto in Mexico, Momotombo in Nicaragua and Lake Poopó in Bolivia. The paper presents the results of research on the use of low-enthalpy geothermal energy sources and waste heat from geothermal power plants in membrane distillation (MD) processes, which is the only heat-powered membrane technology, in order to obtain potable water and/or water for crop irrigation. It was concluded that MD could be considered as a solution for obtaining water of good quality with a high retention of toxic solutes such as As as well as other different species found in groundwater. In addition, it is not only geothermal energy, but also the geothermal water itself that can be considered as a source of freshwater produced through the MD process, a process which is most suitable to be used in areas where cheap sources of heat are available.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 July 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 July 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2020 01:49
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2020 00:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: Geothermal heat; Fresh water; Latin America; Arsenic Membrane distillation
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090799 Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 85 Energy > 8501 Energy Exploration > 850102 Geothermal Exploration
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960604 Environmental Management Systems
B Economic Development > 85 Energy > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850502 Geothermal Energy
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.136853
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38002

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