WASHINGTON: A new research has unveiled a highly efficient method for desalinating seawater using hydrate-based desalination (HBD) technology. The breakthrough is expected to have far-reaching implications for the application of hydrate-based desalination techniques, with the ability to calculate optimal temperatures for enhanced efficiency.
The research team was led by Professor Yongwon Seo in the Graduate School of Carbon Neutrality at UNIST.
The hydrate desalination technique is a low-energy solution that may be used to treat large quantities of brine or polluted water. It is well-known for its environmentally benign freshwater production capabilities. Clean water can be obtained by taking advantage of the occurrence where contaminants, including salts, are ejected during the creation of hydrates from brine or polluted water.
In order to assess the effectiveness of the hydrate desalination process, the research team in this work investigated the thermodynamic parameters of cyclopentane hydrate experimentally. Additionally, they suggested a brand-new computation technique to forecast the temperature at which desalination efficiency will be at its peak.
“When specific conditions are met after adding cyclopentane, a colourless volatile liquid, to brine, cyclopentane hydrate, consisting of pure water, is formed,” explained Professor Seo. “We experimentally measured the thermodynamic properties of this cyclopentane hydrate to apply it to desalination processes.”
Building upon their experiments, the research team calculated the maximum water yield of cyclopentane hydrate under various conditions. The efficiency was determined based on the maximum water yield and the thermal energy required for cooling during the hydrate desalination process.
A thermodynamic relational equation was developed to identify the temperature at which maximum efficiency can be achieved for each brine concentration.
This research provides a crucial criterion for optimizing the efficiency of real-world desalination processes.
Junghoon Mok, the first author of the study, emphasized the significance of this research, stating, “This study is expected to optimize the energy consumption in high-concentration brine treatment processes using hydrate freshwater techniques.”
He added, “The proposed approach is not only applicable to hydrate-based desalination but also holds promise for freeze-type desalination technology.”





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