Landlocked No More: Desalination Goes Inland
January 4, 2012
In an article in Ecomagination, writer Brian Clark Howard explains how researchers at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research are advancing the field of desalination, a process that converts salt water into drinkable freshwater.
For years, desalination has been seen as an answer to the world’s growing water woes, but the process has historically been expensive, highly energy intensive, and has resulted in salty waste that has sometimes caused problems.
What’s more, desalination plants are traditionally located on the coasts, making it difficult to move water inland — especially for landlocked countries like Jordan. Under the direction of BGU expert desalination scientist Dr. Jack Gilron, Jordanian Ph.D. student Amer Sweity is part of a team focused on perfecting the process of desalination.
“It’s complicated for an Arab to come to Israel to study. Some friends cut you off. But by helping serve the environment Research, we can try to bridge the gap. Water is crucial for all of us,” says Sweity.
Dr. Gilron — an expert on inland desalination — and his team have built pilot plants on a semi-industrial scale to test the feasibility of a new inland desalination system. This technology has resulted in less salty brine pollutant to store or process.
The salty brine that is left over has historically presented a problem for desalination experts around the world, however Gilron’s team has developed a way to safely store and even use the salt concentrate.
Through the use of reverse osmosis, the Zuckerberg Institute has successfully transformed 97 to 98 percent of the saltwater into useable freshwater, compared to the 80 percent seen in past desalination processes.
About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.
A. Lavin Communications