Integration of waste heat in thermal desalination technologies: A review




Desalination is increasingly becoming a crucial method for providing fresh water globally. However, most of the desalination technologies are energy-intensive and driven by fossil fuels that are contributing to climate change and other environmental problems. In this vein, renewable energy and energy efficiency are promising pillars of sustainable energy production and consumption, and the recovery of waste heat helps to augment the energy efficiency of a system. Based on the temperature (T) of the heat source, waste heat can be classified into three categories: low temperature (T<100°C), medium temperature (100°C£T<300°C) and high temp-erature (T³300°C). There is scarcity of review work on the integration of waste heat in desalination technologies. In this study, the progress in the utilisation of waste heat to drive thermal desalination processes has been investigated. It is found that 63% of waste heat streams are of low grade, which is still satisfactory for thermal desalination technologies that run on low-temperature heat sources. As of 2018, there was only one known thermal desalination plant driven by waste heat. Lack of data on waste heat, especially in developing countries, has been identified as a major challenge to the advancement of desalination technologies driven by this source of thermal energy. Other constraints are presented and discussed in this paper.


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How to Cite

Charitar, D., & Madhlopa, A. (2022). Integration of waste heat in thermal desalination technologies: A review. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 33(1), 68–84.