What is desalination?


Water Scarcity and Alternative Sources

Nearly 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water, however only 2.5 percent of this water is fresh. Much of this 2.5 percent is in the form of frozen glaciers or is found at places where human inhabitation is not possible. Now when we have fresh water that barely fulfils the requirement for human consumption, it is not possible or advisable to freely use this fresh water resource for industrial purposes. So, what is the alternative?

The answer to water scarcity is seawater desalination.


What is Desalination of Seawater?


Sea water is available to us in abundance. However, it is unfit for use, and has to be processed before it can be used for utility, consumption or for commercial and industrial purposes.

“Technically the removal of saline substances (salt and minerals) from water is known as desalination. Salt Water is desalinated to extract water that is fit for consumption, utility or industrial use.”

In the earlier days, desalination was first used by ships sailing the ocean. The first land-based desalination plant was installed in Netherlands, in 1928. Later the gulf countries rapidly adopted this technology to fulfil the water requirements in the dessert region. In 1930 the first multi effect distillation plant was built in Saudi Arabia. Million of dollars were spent in this ambitious project. However, what truly marked the start of a new era, was membrane desalination technologies. The first commercial reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant was installed in California in 1965.


Which Countries use Desalination?


Desalination has seen immense traction in the gulf regions, where fresh water resources are scarce and sea water is abundantly available. In the Middle East especially, the petroleum resources can offset water shortage. Other countries where population is more and fresh water resources are less are also investing in desalination plants to fulfil the water requirements for people and for industries. Currently desalination plants are operating in countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Spain, Cyrus, Portugal, Greece, India, Italy etc.

“Currently, approximately 1% of the world’s population is dependent on desalinated water to meet daily needs, but the UN expects that 14% of the world’s population will encounter water scarcity by 2025.” -Source: Wikipedia


Major Desalination Challenge!


  • Energy consumption leading to high desalination expenses is one of the major roadblocks.
  • Maintenance of the desalination plants.
  • Frequent replacement due to caking and clogging of RO membrane due to contaminants like oil, micro-organisms and dead sea organisms.
  • Disposal of brine produced post desalination is another major challenge.

Why Pre-Treatment of Sea Water Before Desalination is Important?


  • Remove Suspended Solids, Bacteria, SDI, Colour & Turbidity:
  • When sea water is extracted for desalination it brings along a lot of organic waste, plastic waste, bacteria, and silt. All this has to be removed before the seawater is fit for desalination. Sea water with all these impurities leads to a shorter RO membrane life, short operation period and high maintenance. Pre-filtering protects the RO membrane and keeps it working efficiently for a longer time.


  • Remove Oil from Sea Water:
  • Pollution in the sea and its impact on marine life is increasing at an alarming rate. Contamination by hydrocarbons, due to oil spills, heavy naval traffic, and increased production of petrochemicals is highly acute. If this contaminated water goes directly into the desalination plant, it causes caking and clogging, and impedes the efficiency of the desalination equipment. Oil removal equipment like Gopani’s Clarysorb Cartridge Filter is perfect for a preventive pre-treatment process so that the desalination plants perform consistently for a long time.


  • Bring Down the Operating Cost of Desalination Plants:
  • If membrane fouling reduces considerably, then operational costs drop significantly. Also the desalination plants are expensive and a prefiltration device can effective protect this expensive equipment from damage and increase its service life.


    Perks of Pre-treatment in Reverse Osmosis Seawater Desalination:


    • Reduce the stress on your desalination plants.
    • Increase the service life of your expensive desalination plant and related equipment.
    • Reduce the burden of frequent maintenance and cut down maintenance costs.
    • Increase the efficiency of your desalination plant via efficient pre-filtration.

    Why Clarywound 3X is the Best String Wound Cartridge Filter for Desalination

    How to Reduce Desalination CAPEX/OPEX with Advanced Pre-filtration?


    Gopani – Driving Incremental Innovation in Developing Pre-filtration Equipment for Desalination


    Innovation is an instrument to find simpler and better answers to critical problems, and if innovation stops, then growth stops. At gopani we observed that Membrane-based technologies were developed in the late 1960s and over recent years we have seen lot of Innovation in this area. However, pre-filtration has not seen any new development in the recent years. Hence, at Gopani, we are doing our share by solving desalination challenges via innovation in prefiltration products and solutions.

    With fresh water resources dwindling, people are bound to look seawards, and as the scope for desalination increases, the need for efficient pre-filtration will also increase. Our Clarywound 3X has unbelievable dirt holding capacity. The cartridge filter is compact, greener and is genuinely priced.


    Clarywound 3X (patent pending)

    • High precision cartridge filter with three times higher dirt holding capacity.
    • True multi-layered micronic gradient density achieved using CNC machining process.
    • 3 times higher efficiency means, 3 times less changeouts and 3 times less disposal costs.
    • 100% free from resin binders, lubricants, antistatic and release agents.

    Check out Clarywound 3X


    Scope of Improvement for Desalination!

    A lot of different entities are working towards making the desalination process more efficient and equipment increasingly innovative. The use of solar energy for desalination is also on the cards. Membrane technology is now extremely advanced, and filtration experts like Gopani have made the prefiltration process effective via design innovation.


    Here is our Exclusive Range of Desalination Pre-filtration Equipment