Energy Efficient Supercritical Water Desalination Using a High-Temperature Heat Pump: A Zero Liquid Discharge Desalination: Article No. 115020

Joshua McTigue, Prashant Sharan, Tae Yoon, Robert Currier, Alp Findikoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Supercritical water desalination (SCWD) is zero liquid discharge technology that can potentially control the solubility of different electrolytes. However, SCWD is an energy-intensive process and requires high-quality thermal heat (> 450 °C). This study proposes the integration of a high-temperature heat pump to reduce the SCWD energy requirement. The integrated system energy consumption improves by 36% for 3.5% feed concentration and 14% for 20% feed, and the distillate cost reduces by 15% and 10%. Another benefit of the proposed integration is the system can be operated using only electricity as a heat source, as is the case with commonly used high-recovery thermal desalination technology. The integrated SCWD-heat pump system shows superior performance compared to the commercially used brine concentrator and crystallizer system. It is approximately 20% more energy-efficient for 25% feed concentration and 8% cheaper. Hence, the integrated SCWD-heat pump has the potential to outperform the pre-existing high-recovery desalination technology.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
JournalDesalination
Volume506
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-79944

Keywords

  • brine concentrator-crystallizer
  • high-temperature heat pump
  • process integration
  • supercritical water desalination
  • zero liquid discharge

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