October 25, 2022     Posted by :

The Earth’s oceans cover 71% of the total area

Sea water resources account for 97.5% of the Earth’s total water, fresh water only accounts for 2.5% of the Earth’s total water

Water resources are so scarce, if we can use Shanghai’s water resources, it will benefit mankind!

The effective way to utilize seawater resources now is through desalination technology

History of desalination

History of desalination

The history of seawater desalination and desalination can be traced back to 1400 B.C. when the inhabitants of the seashore used distillation to obtain fresh water.

By 200 A.D., simple desalination plants began to appear, mainly for providing fresh water for the crew on board ocean-going ships.

In 1560, the world’s first land-based seawater desalination plant was built on a Tunisian island.

Patents for seawater desalination by distillation were created in England in 1675 and 1680

Frozen seawater desalination technology was proposed in the 18th century

Since the 19th century, along with the invention of the steam engine, various colonial countries began to research the desalination of seawater in view of the development of pioneering voyages and the emergence of submerged stills.

In 1872, Chile developed the world’s first solar-powered desalination unit, producing 20,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day

In 1884, the first desalination plant for ships was built in England

In 1898, Russia put into operation its first desalination plant based on the principle of multi-effect evaporation, with a daily production of 1230m³ of fresh water.

In the early 20th world, a few countries in Britain, the United States, France, and Germany mastered the manufacturing technology of desalination equipment, and only a few ports in the Middle East used desalination equipment on steamships.

seawater desalination

During World War II, seawater desalination was vigorously developed mainly by distillation method, and after the war, oil development and exploitation in the Middle East led to the large-scale development of the local seawater desalination industry

In 1954, an electrodialysis desalination device was introduced

In 1957, RS Silver and A Frankel invented the multi-stage flash distillation desalination technology (MSF)

1960, a reverse osmosis desalination plant was introduced

In 1975, low-temperature multi-effect desalination technology was promoted to some extent

Since the 1980s, reverse osmosis desalination technology has been rapidly developed

the current situation of seawater desalination abroad

The current situation of seawater desalination abroad

At present, the desalination industry and devices have covered more than 150 countries and regions in the world, such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Cape Verde, Portugal, Greece, Italy, India, China, Japan and Australia.

desalination industry

The Middle East is one of the regions in the world with severe water scarcity, where the climate is hot, precipitation is scarce and the land is arid, but the local oil resources are abundant and the economy is strong, so there is an urgent need for desalination technology and devices.

It has the economic basis for the development of desalination industrialization. Only this region of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain five countries desalination device total water production, accounting for 44.3% of the global total, in the coastal areas of the Persian Gulf, some countries have desalinated seawater volume accounted for 80-90% of the country’s freshwater use.

In contrast, in the birthplace of the world’s first modern desalination plant in the United States, the total amount of desalinated water accounts for only 18% of the global total, and 70% of Israel’s water comes from desalination, which has also produced the world’s leading desalination company (IDE)

Saudi Arabia’s annual rainfall is only 100mm, half of its land area is desert, and the per capita possession of water resources is only 1.2% of the world average, the Saudi government, in order to solve the serious water shortage problem, has invested heavily to build 25 large desalination plants, achieving a desalination capacity of 5250000m³/d, and the total water production accounts for about 25.9% of the world’s total desalination The capacity of the desalination plant is the first in the world.

The UAE has less than 900m³ of water resources per capita and is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. In order to meet the huge domestic demand for fresh water, the two emirates of UAE – Abu Dhabi and Dubai jointly invested USD 40 billion in desalination projects in 2009.

So far, the UAE has 30 desalination plants with an annual capacity of 300,000,000m³, which can meet 98% of the country’s domestic and industrial water consumption, ranking second in the world in terms of capacity.

The current situation of desalination in China

(a) Chinese seawater desalination research was first conducted in 1958 by the Second Institute of Oceanography of the State Oceanic Administration in China on ion exchange membrane electrodialysis seawater desalination.

in 1965, Shandong Ocean Institute was the first to conduct research on reverse osmosis CA asymmetric membrane in China.

in 1970, the main force of seawater desalination meeting gathered in Hangzhou and organized the first national seawater desalination research laboratory

In 1981 the first desalination station with a daily output of 200 tons of electrodialysis was built in the Xisha Islands

In 1982 Hangzhou Water Treatment Technology Research and Development Center was established

1984 State Oceanic Administration started the research of seawater desalination devices by distillation method

the current situation of desalination in China

In 1997, China’s first 500m³/d reverse osmosis desalination plant was put into operation and built-in Zhejiang Province

In 2000, Hebei built a 18000m³/d reverse osmosis brackish water desalination plant

In 2003, Shandong built a 10,000m³/d reverse osmosis seawater desalination demonstration project

China’s seawater desalination market is still under development, and many projects are still in the early stages.

The potential demand for seawater desalination is not matched by the supply of seawater desalination devices. According to the law of the market economy, supply and demand are determined by market demand.

The primary problem of water shortage can be solved through government coordination and encouragement.

However, from the actual situation, on the one hand, the country vigorously promotes seawater. The promotion of seawater desalination equipment and technology has led to the influx of many water treatment companies into the market;

On the other hand, due to the lack of national policies to encourage the use of desalinated water, the seawater desalination market is still immature or in the development stage, and the contradiction between supply and demand in the aquaculture industry is prominent.

According to the requirements of the 13th Five-Year National Economic Development Plan and the deployment of the Ministry of Water Resources, China will focus on developing seawater desalination to supplement the shortage of freshwater resources during the 13th Five-Year Plan.

The Ministry of Water Resources will also incorporate unconventional water resources mainly desalination into the overall planning of water resources during the “13th Five-Year Plan” period, and China will become a fast-growing country in the world in the desalination industry.



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