http://twit.tv/gtt18 – Green Tech Today 18: Oasys Water.
Aaron Mandell, CEO’s aim is to get the price down to as low as $0.25 per cubic meter. He says current processes (where energy costs are often subsidised) range from $0.65-$1 per cubic meter for current desalination.
How? Using some clever thermodynamics and chemistry at scale.
Why? The Oasys process in practice uses 1/3 to 1/2 of the energy of currently in use methods (with theoretical potential for 1/10 of the energy), primarily because it can use normal osmosis rather than reverse osmosis.
http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2004/JosephSabatelle.shtml – New York Water Prices
A little math – 1kL = 1 cubic meter. So $0.000537 per liter = $0.537 per kL (cubic meter)
http://www.sydneywater.com.au/Publications/FactSheets/UsageCharges.pdf#Page=1 – Sydney Water Usage Charges. $2.012 per kL, a big piece due to the cost of the Kurnell Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant.
I wonder if in 5-10 years this process could be retrofitted into existing plants for big potential savings as well?
Rob McGinnis, CTO and co-founder says the “plants are modular building blocks” so they should be scalable down as well as up – perhaps for use by farmers near saline aquifers? These are in addition to the other applications – industrial waste reuse, and even a new form of hydroelectric power.
In any case I think this is pretty amazing that some clever salts and thermodynamics could become a huge piece of the solution to the world’s water issues.