A Review of the Water Desalination Technologies

A Review of the Water Desalination Technologies

Credit to: https://www.mdpi.com/

This article is an open access article

distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://


Publisher: MDPI journal

Publishing date: 12 January 2021

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Abstract: Desalination is commonly adopted nowadays to overcome the freshwater scarcity in
some areas of the world if brackish water or salt water is available. Different kinds of technologies
have been proposed in the last century. In this paper, the state of the mainstream solutions is
reported, showing the current commercial technologies like reverse osmosis (RO), Multi-Stages Flash
desalination (MSF) and Multi-Effect Distillation (MED), and the new frontiers of the research with
the aim of exploiting renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass energy. In these cases,
seawater treatment plants are the same as traditional ones, with the only difference being that they
use a renewable energy source. Thus, classifications are firstly introduced, considering the working
principles, the main energy input required for the treatment, and the potential for coupling with
renewable energy sources. Each technology is described in detail, showing how the process works
and reporting some data on the state of development. Finally, a statistical analysis is given concerning
the spread of the various technologies across the world and which of them are most exploited. In this
section, an important energy and exergy analysis is also addressed to quantify energy losses.


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