The National Water Research Institute (NWRI), the National Centre for Excellence in Desalination – Australia (NCEDA), and the KAUST Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC) are co-organizing DesalTech 2015 as a co-event with the International Desalination Association (IDA) World Congress in San Diego, California, USA.
DesalTech2015 will focus on research in emerging water desalination technologies for municipal and industrial applications. Given the energy-intensity and environmental impacts of the conventional desalination technology, sea or brackish water reverse osmosis (RO), global R&D is now focusing on several emerging technologies which are less energy intensive and offer further opportunities for integration with renewable energy. These processes include, among others, forward osmosis (FO), membrane distillation (MD), adsorption desalination (AD), and capacitive deionization (CDI). While these technologies may not completely replace RO, they provide important niche applications as well as potential hybrids in combination with other processes including RO. In addition to water production, there is a growing interest in exploiting desalination brines for (salinity gradient) energy production through processes like pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) and reverse electrodialysis (RED). While the municipal market for desalination is better understood, market forces are at work for desalination applications in industry, most notably in oil and gas extraction/production and mining.