A solution for the world’s water crisis?

The impending crisis posed by water stress and poor sanitation represents one of the greatest human challenges for the 21st century. According to the United Nations there are over 750 million people that do not have access to an improved source of drinking water, and water demand from industry is expected to increase by 400 per cent between 2000 and 2050 globally. Estimates are that half of the world’s population will suffer severe water shortages by 2050. This will be compounded by the world’s population growth, set to increase from 7.6 billion at present to 9.8 billion by 2050. This indicates that the requirement for fresh water and management of wastewater will dramatically increase.

Meanwhile, two chemical engineering academics from Swansea University have written a landmark handbook which gives a clear picture of the current state-of-the-art developments in salinity gradient processes in desalination, which are being widely accepted as one of the most promising processes to improve energy efficiency in desalination.

Seawater desalination is poised to become one of the main alternative freshwater resources as almost 60 percent of the world’s population live less than 36 miles from a seacoast. Membrane based processes and desalination have emerged as technologies that will answer these challenges.

Professor Nidal Hilal, Director of the Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research (CWATER) at Swansea University and Editor-in-Chief of the International journal Desalination, and Dr Sarper Sarp (Lecturer in Chemical Engineering) both from the College of Engineering, Swansea University are the co-authors of the handbook titled ‘Membrane Based Salinity Gradient Processes for Desalination’. Students, scientists and engineers will be able to see, for the first time, in one reference work the process development for low cost desalination and membrane preparation for salinity gradient applications.

[Swansea University]

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