Chapter 15Geothermal Desalination

Veera Gnaneswar Gude

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA

Abstract

Geothermal source utilization for direct applications (“direct use”) and power generation is growing at a steadfast pace around the world. Although available abundantly in many parts of the world, geothermal energy sources have been under-utilized in desalination applications. Geothermal sources have the potential to serve as excellent heat sources for both thermal and membrane desalination processes. Geothermal-based energy source represents a feasible, sustainable, and an environment-friendly option for energy-intensive thermal desalination processes. Geothermal source can be used as a heat source for power production and a storage medium for process energy utilization. It is also possible to use geothermal water effluents as feed water for desalination processes. Because external energy consumption is minimized except for the mechanical energy requirements, geothermal enabled desalination processes could have less environmental impacts when compared to other nonrenewable energy driven desalination processes. Cogeneration schemes for simultaneous water and power production are also possible with geothermal sources as well as poly generation with multiple process benefits including cooling and heating applications. This chapter provides the present state-of-the-art of geothermal desalination with discussion ...

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