Desalination Applications for Our Pumps
Conversion of saltwater into potable water is a process that provides water for human consumption, agriculture and industry. Mag drive pumps serve an important function in this process, performing salt water recirculation and transfer operations.
The basic process of desalination involves separating salt from salt water, rendering the remaining water safe for a range of applicable uses. (Standards for potable water, drinking water, irrigation water, and water used for industrial purposes may vary significantly from country to country and municipality to municipality.) In order to remove the salt, desalination plants either use thermal distillation (heating and cooling the water) or membrane separation (forcing water through membranes that remove the salt, at least in most cases). Some desalination plants use a hybrid approach that combines both approaches.
Our American made magnetic drive pumps are ideal for use in all types of heavy-duty desalination plants. A common pump used in this application is a TE-5.5K-MD which has a maximum flow of 30 gallons a minute at 11 feet with a maximum head of 41 feet. They can tolerate an internal pressure of 75psi, and a maximum temperature of 200 Fahrenheit (93 Celsius). It is also resistant to aggressive solvents and acids, and our models have pumped hydrochloric acid, sodium chloride, sulfuric acid among other chemicals.
Our magnetic drive pumps are ideal for a wide range of desalinization applications. Read more about them down below:
|Max Flow||17 GPM||60 LPM|
|Max Head||27 FT||6 M|
|Max Flow||30 GPM||102 LPM|
|Max Head||41 FT||9 M|
Centrifugal pumps excel as pumps for desalination and have multiple real-life desalination applications. especially when considering their efficiency. Energy comprises the bulk of desalination costs, and industry periodical Pumps & Systems notes that “centrifugal pumps can approach 94 percent efficiency.” This makes centrifugal pumps ideal for the four main pump types used in desalination, namely vertical wet pit intake pumps, reverse osmosis horizontal multi-stage charge pumps, vertical can brine recycle pumps, and horizontal pipeline transfer pumps.
However, end users must consider several factors when looking to implement a high-pressure pump for seawater reverse osmosis or other pumps used in desalination plants. While most desalination plants use seawater for an input, some also use oil-field water or brackish ground-well water. These latter two sources exhibit more corrosivity, but all sodium-laden water can damage a pump if it’s constructed of the wrong materials. Additionally, centrifugal pumps can be damaged by insufficient flow, so intake must remain adequate and steady.
With those requirements satisfied, centrifugal pumps can play an important part in providing desalinated water for the following applications.
According to UNICEF, “Four billion people — almost two thirds of the world’s population — experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year. … Some 700 million people could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.” Such statistics don’t merely apply to developing countries or desert-bound people. North America in general and the United States in particular face ongoing water issues. The EPA explains that “40 out of 50 state water managers expect water shortages under average conditions in some portion of their states over the next decade.”
Traditionally, using desalination to create potable water has been restricted to personal use in the United States, such as a desalination hand pumps for campers or a desalination pump sailboat owners could use. Why? Expense has played a large part. But that has begun to change. In 2007, Tampa Bay, Florida, began operating the United States’ largest desalination plant, and the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant has generated more than 26 billion gallons of potable water. Now notoriously dry states such as California are seriously considering desalination as the cost of other forms of potable water continues to rise.
A key reason for using desalination technology is to support the populations of major urban centers. As cities grow, they place an increased strain on natural resources — and especially water. The journal Chemical Engineering Transitions notes, “Australia has a population of 23 million. Over 85 % of the population live in coastal, urbanized areas served by a combination of major sources such as dams, groundwater, river abstraction and now desalination. The desalination plants were designed and constructed during one of the worst droughts in Australian recorded history, the millennium drought, which varied across the country but lasted for over a decade.”
Desalination provides municipalities with options when they struggle to supply adequate water to their populations. Along with energy recovery devices for RO desalination, centrifugal pumps can help by serving as efficient thermal or reverse osmosis pumps.
Many commercial crops either will grow or thrive in arid environments, such as pistachios, almonds, figs, apricots, and plums. However hardy the crop, though, no plant can survive forever without a supply of water. Desalination stands ready to serve farmers and other growers. What’s more, irrigation and desalinization can become mutually beneficial, each solving a “problem” of the other.
The desalinization process produces a briny effluent with a high concentration of total dissolved solids (TDS). Disposing of high-TDS liquids can lead to negative environmental impact. But some salt-tolerant plants such as the grasses on golf courses can tolerate this byproduct, making it ideal for irrigation.
While drinking and irrigation are the two most common uses for desalinated water, industries also benefit from having access to salt-free water. Some specific industries employ saline water as part of their ordinary processes, such as thermoelectric power plants. However, most industries that need water will require it to be fresh. Some of these include:
- Semiconductor manufacturers
- Hard-drive manufacturers
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Hotel chains and resorts
- Battery manufacturers
- Automobile construction
- Hospitals and surgical centers
- Nuclear-powered ships
- Chemical and biological laboratories
- Any industry that incorporates steam into its production process