Advantages and Disadvantages of Seawater Desalination
Seawater Desalination RO System refers to the conversion of salt water into drinking water by removing salt and other solids from seawater or brackish water. Although the process of seawater desalination has existed for centuries, it was not until 1950s that large-scale water treatment was allowed and seawater desalination plants were established. In 2002, 12,500 desalination plants in 120 countries provided 14 million cubic meters of fresh drinking water every day. By 2015, the production capacity of global desalination plants will nearly double.
It is convenient to provide drinking water. SWRO Desalination System can provide drinking water in areas where there is no natural drinking water. Some Caribbean islands get drinking water for almost all the places on the island through desalination plants, and Saudi Arabia also gets 70% fresh water through desalination. Even in countries rich in fresh water, desalination plants can supply water to arid areas or dry seasons. For example, the United States uses 6.5% of the world's desalinated water supply.
It is convenient for quality and habitat protection. Desalinated desalted water usually meets or exceeds the water quality standard. Seawater desalination plants can also reduce the pressure of regional fresh water supply. Through seawater treatment, some endangered species habitats can be protected, and these important freshwater bodies can be preserved. In addition, desalination can also improve people's awareness of protecting these water bodies.
The cost of construction and operation is high. The construction and operation cost of seawater desalination plant is very high. The cost of building a factory may range from $300 million to $2.9 billion. Once running, the factory needs a lot of energy. The cost of energy accounts for one-third to one-half of the total production cost. As energy accounts for a large part of the total cost, the cost is also greatly affected by the change of energy price.
Environmental impact is another disadvantage of Seawater Desalination Reverse Osmosis Plants. Removing salt from water is a major problem. This kind of discharge, called brine, can change the salinity and reduce the oxygen content in the water of the treatment site. A large number of chemicals, including chlorine, carbon dioxide and hydrochloric acid, will be used or produced in the process of seawater desalination, which may be harmful at high concentrations.