How Seawater Desalination Works

Seawater desalination is an important process, particularly in areas where potable water is scarce. And since the ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, it makes sense to tap into this resource.

We explain how seawater desalination can take advantage of existing seawater in times and areas when rain or other water sources are scarce.

Using Seawater as a Reliable Water Source

Due to its elevated salt content, the chemical composition of seawater differs majorly from that of its safe-to-drink, “freshwater” counterpart.

Seawater is a mixture of specific minerals (sodium chloride salts being the most obvious of these). In contrast, “fresh” drinking water typically consists of low concentrations of well-balanced minerals that ensure the water is of neutral pH and low enough concentration that complies with or better SANS241 standards.

What Exactly is Seawater Desalination?

Desalination refers to the process of recovering freshwater from saltwater, where water molecules are extracted from seawater to make it safe for human consumption. In essence, water is pumped from the ocean and pushed through a semi-permeable polymetric membrane fabric that rejects a significant portion of <99% of the minerals present in the feedwater. As the minerals are rejected, it allows freshwater with low salt concentrations to pass for use.

Suitability of Reverse Osmosis for Use in Desalination

Reverse Osmosis is proven to be the most efficient and cost-effective way to recover freshwater from seawater or remove the salt from seawater.

Reverse Osmosis Defined

Osmosis entails the natural flow of water through a membrane from a low salt concentration area to a high salt concentration area. For the process of Reverse Osmosis, higher external pressure is applied, and the natural flow of water is reversed.

Now flowing from a high salt concentration to a low salt concentration, a fresh stream of safe-to-drink, potable water is produced. This is because membrane pores are so small that it effectively acts as a microscopic strainer, filtering the salt as well as other harmful bacteria and viruses.

Using NuWater’s systems, you can decide on the salt level that should remain in the freshwater stream.

Why Seawater Desalination?

Given the current state of our planet and the technologies available to us today, we believe that we have a responsibility to our environment to reuse, reduce, and recycle as far as possible.

Through seawater desalination, we’re able to treat the ocean’s water to meet our need for processed water. Furthermore, we can assist drought-stricken countries where human intervention is necessary to the local population’s survival.

How to Get Started

At NuWater, we pride ourselves in being a smart water treatment solutions company operating in South Africa. We’re a technology-led engineering company built around water treatment plants. And these plants treat contaminated water to provide high-quality drinking and industrial process water from almost any water source.

We act as your business partner for water treatment and liquid waste management, and our appetite for innovation and our constant drive to search for new, cutting-edge technologies ensures that we can meet the needs of our customers.

So, let’s get started! Contact us today for all your water treatment solutions.