Low-cost low-enthalpy geothermal heat for freshwater production: Innovative applications using thermal desalination processes

Jochen Bundschuh, NorEddine Ghaffour, Hacène Mahmoudi, Mattheus F A Goosen, Shahbaz Mushtaq, Jan Hoinkis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study is dedicated to exploring different types of low-cost low-enthalpy geothermal and their potential integration with conventional thermal-based water desalination and treatment technologies to deliver energy efficient, environmentally friendly solutions for water desalination and treatment, addressing global water crises. Our in-depth investigation through reviews of various low-enthalpy geothermal and conventional thermal-based technologies suggest that the geothermal option is superior to the solar option if low-cost geothermal heat is available because it provides a constant heat source in contrast to solar. Importantly, the stable heat source further allows up-scaling (> 1000 m3/day), which is not currently possible with solar. Solar-geothermal hybrid constellations may also be suitable in areas where both sources are available. The review also discovers that the innovative Membrane distillation (MD) process is very promising as it can be used for many different water compositions, salinity and temperature ranges. Either the geothermal water itself can be desalinated/treated or the geothermal heat can be used to heat feed water from other sources using heat exchangers. However, there are only few economic analyses for large-scale MD units and these are based on theoretical models using often uncertain assumptions resulting in a large variety of results.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-206
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume43
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Low-cost low-enthalpy geothermal heat for freshwater production: Innovative applications using thermal desalination processes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this