Which 10 innovations in desalination technology are helping to address water scarcity?

1. Reverse osmosis (RO) technology – the most common and widely used desalination technique in the world, using semi-permeable membranes to remove salt and other dissolved solids.

2. Membrane distillation (MD) – a process that utilizes a hydrophobic membrane to isolate the saltwater from the heat source, allowing only the pure water vapor to pass through, which can be condensed to produce freshwater.

3. Multi-stage flash distillation (MSF) – a thermal desalination process that involves distilling seawater at progressively lower pressures, using heat to evaporate the water and separate salt from seawater.

4. Multi-effect distillation (MED) – a thermal desalination process that involves heating seawater in a series of vessels at varying pressures, generating multiple stages of distillate, each at a lower temperature.

5. Forward osmosis (FO) – a low-pressure desalination process that leverages the natural affinity of water to move from a region of low solute concentration to high solute concentration across a semi-permeable membrane.

6. Electrodialysis (ED) – a process that relies on the application of an electric field across a membrane to selectively remove ions from seawater, producing freshwater for use.

7. Capacitive Deionization (CDI) – a process using porous electrodes to attract ions from seawater and then release them into a separate stream of water or brine.

8. Solar desalination – a technique that involves evaporating seawater using the sun’s energy, either using simple techniques or via large-scale solar stills.

9. Hybrid processes – a combination of two or more desalination technologies in a single plant that can utilize the benefits of each individual process to produce freshwater efficiently.

10. Energy recovery devices (ERDs) – used in many desalination technologies to recover energy from the reject brine stream and reuse it to power the desalination process, reducing overall energy consumption.