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Israeli firm to build desalination plants in
Carribean and Australia & cut costs in half
Ha aretz ^
| Thursday, December 26, 2002
| Amiram Cohen
Posted on 12/26/2002 12:30:29 PM PST by ckilmer
Israeli firm to build desalination plants in Carribean and Australia
By Amiram Cohen
An Israeli company, Advanced Desalination Technologies (ADT), will set up prototype desalination plants in the Carribean, Australia and Israel during the course of next year. The plants will employ a new technology that could cut the cost of desalination by 50 percent.
Professor Avi Efrati, who developed the new technology, believes that commercial application of the technology could lower desalination costs from 50-55 cents per cubic meter to 22-25 cents per cubic meter for sea water and from 30-40 cents per cubic meter to 15-20 cents per cubic meter for salty ground water.
Efrati's technology is based on the use of commercial components that are currently used in a desalination process known as reverse osmosis. Instead of continuous flow desalination, Efrati's method uses a closed circuit with fixed or variable pressure.
Efrati claims that his new method will also lower the cost of building desalination facilities by half and will cut running costs by some 30 percent.
Efrati's technology has been the subject of interest of water companies overseas and is also being examined by the Mekorot national water utility. Ha'aretz has learned that Mekorot is planning to set up a prototype plant to examine the technology and two multinational desalination companies have expressed an interest in integrating the technology into their existing plants.
Professor Efrati said yesterday that commercial desalination plants with an output of 3000 cubic meters a day would be available within two years.
TOPICS: Extended News; Miscellaneous
Desalination prices and volumes look to be falling as fast as chip prices. Why? Volumes bring economies of scale. Also, the field of materials research is red hot these days. the scientists can create cheaper better materials that are semi permiable. that is materials that allow water to pass through them but not salt.
Why is water desalination so important... cheap water from the sea will be a corner stone for successful 21st century civilization. but something very awsome starts to happen around all the desert coasts of the world as the price desalinised water begins to approach the price of river and underground water in temperate places of the world.
The desert turns green. And the inhabitable areas of the world effectively doubles and the growing areas of the world effectively double.
This is a big deal.
posted on 12/26/2002 12:30:29 PM PST
What ever happened to the Sneh concept, does anyone know?
posted on 12/26/2002 12:43:32 PM PST
Put in context.
The numbers the israeli scientist is talking about represents about 270-300@acre
foot. That's down from current prices at about 650@ acre foot. But that's down from
foot 5 years ago.
Water along the eastern seaboard of the USA runs about $25-$50@ acre foot.
There's a ways to go.
posted on 12/26/2002 12:47:57 PM PST
At what point will it become economical to catch river water, before it mixes with ocean water, and pump it into canals? This water could be used in a series of inland waterways, to create lakes and habitats for birds, replenish aquifers, etc.
We have almost reached a point where deliberate re-engineering of climate is possible. Apart from making more standing water available inland, I'd like to make channels in mountain ranges to give places far from the coast, the equivalent of coastal climate. In the S.F. Bay area, one idea is to make a 10-mile wide hole in the mountains that separate the central valley from the coast, to make the air there more temperate.
To: Tax Government
California already has a huge canal system.
But the demands for water has already outstripped the California's canal system.
It will still be another ten years before the desalinised water prices become world beaters.
Pumping water uphill is an energy problem. The costs of energy would have to come down a lot for that to happen.
There's no way California environmentalists would allow a gap to be cut in the sierras to allow clouds or rivers to go through.
posted on 12/26/2002 1:12:04 PM PST
An article on F.R. yesterday suggested that American conservatives are really the world's revolutionaries and "liberals" in the European sense...ready to take chances, put faith in man's goodness and improve the human lot.
It might take the example of Mexico, which could saw a hole in the range surrounding Distrito Federal to solve the smog problem there, to make American conservationists take an active role in engineering our climate.
A hole in the Central California coastal mountains would doubtless be a world-class place for wind-generated power and windsurfing, if there were also a river there.
To: Tax Government
Re-engineering Central California's climate would have the goals of creating more precipitation, reducing the need for pumped-in water, making more land habitable, and lowering air-conditioning costs.
There's a ways to go.
Not really. Bottled water is more expensive, by far.
I don't drink tap water at all, only distilled or bottled.
the goal is to make desalinised water cheap enough to grow crops competitively.
At that point because most of the worlds deserts are right beside salt water bodie--you could effectively turn the desert green, double the arible land and living space in the world.
pretty neat eh.
And its not that far off from happening.
I figure it to happen at just about the same time that hydrogen energy is taken up in ten to fifteen years.
posted on 12/26/2002 7:36:52 PM PST
Here's a quick blurb on the SNAP concept
SNAP Technology: SNAP (Sneh Aero-electric Power) is an acronym for a technology developed in the Technion Israel Institute of Technology to create electric power and desalinated water in the world deserts, using air and a spray of water. The hot and dry air of the desert is cooled in a tall, large-diameter chimney. This leads to a downward airflow which reaches high velocity and activates turbines which generate electricity. Plans have recently been made for establishing a pilot plant in Israel.
"Sneh" is the Hebrew word used in the Torah for the bush that burned and yet was not consumed.
posted on 12/28/2002 10:11:36 AM PST
the lowering costs in desalination sound very exciting. but you know we in america could build big pipelines from the Mississippi River to west texas, oklahoma, new mexico and it could really be a big boon it seems. Do you know if the costs of doing this are so prohibitive? the mississippi & great lakes are enormous sources for water. We already have huge canal projects in arizona and california. The colorado river provides water to farms and cities hundreds of miles away from the colorado river because of canals we've built. We could do the same with missisippi & great lakes if we wanted.
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