Sustainable energy systems for seawater reverse osmosis desalination

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Desalination of seawater driven by solar and other sustainable energy sources could in principle fulfil the growing needs of the world's most water-stressed countries. Reverse osmosis (RO) has become the most efficient process for desalination, making it the technology of choice for use with solar energy, and photovoltaics (PV) has become the most successful technology for solar energy conversion. But despite recent gains in the efficiency of PV-RO, substantial improvements are still possible because of the numerous energy losses occurring between input of sunlight and output of freshwater. This chapter gives an overview of some of the research activities and recent advances that could ultimately result in solar-powered RO systems becoming more than 10 times efficient than today. It also describes advances in waste heat recovery for RO desalination that are yielding greatly improved performance over desalination processes based on distillation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging membrane technology for sustainable water treatment
EditorsRajindar Singh, Nicholas Hankins
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)978-0-444-63312-5
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2016


  • desalination
  • energy efficiency
  • PV
  • reverse osmosis
  • sustainable energy
  • waste heat recovery


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