Seawater in Egypt could be turned into drinking water using biomass energy as a source of heat in a new collaborative project from academics at the University of Sheffield UK and Port Said University in Egypt.
The unique two year project will see academics from the world-leading Energy 2050 Institute partner with Egyptian experts to develop a system that could provide fresh and safe water to poor and rural communities.
Egypt's growing population and scarcity of water resources means that freshwater supplies are becoming increasingly stressed.
Desalination technologies, which produce drinkable water from seawater, offer an alternative source of water but at a high energy cost. Renewable solar energy has been used extensively in these technologies but is not consistent due to not enough sunlight on cloudy days and at night.
A hybrid system using biogas and solar is an entirely new technology with only a handful of studies being attempted so far. There are several options for the integration of the hybrid energy system and the desalination process and the process will explore both thermal and electrically based freshwater production systems.
[Photo by Vyacheslav Argenberg | Flickr]