Drinking water from factory chimneys?
Membrane technology allows drinking water to be captured from 'smoke'
Testers of new membrane technology in the Netherlands have claimed that so much high-grade water can be recovered from flue gases of factory chimneys, industrial plants in arid areas could make a valuable contribution to the world’s water shortage.
Tests at industrial plants in the Netherlands and Germany have demonstrated that at least 40 per cent of the water in flue gases can be recovered with new membrane technology, indicating that a 400MW power plant can supply twice as much water as it needs for steam generation.
Effectively, say experts, this will turn plants from water consumers to water suppliers, and with the high quality of the water reclaimed, it can be used for both industrial and consumption purposes.
Commissioned by the European Union and led by energy services firm KEMA, 13 partners from Europe, the Middle East and Africa will working together on a project to develop the research after ten years already spent on the technology.
A number of large-scale tests at power stations in Spain and Israel, a geo-thermal well in Tunisia and paper factories in the Netherlands and South Africa are all to play a follow-up part in the development and testing, clearing the way for industrial production and implementation of the new technology.
Pier Nabuurs, Chairman of KEMA board of directors, said: “We are delighted that these partners are able to expand on the work done during the last ten years. The consequences of this new technology are far-reaching, not only in the field of the environment and cost savings, but also in the field of the drinking water issue in arid areas, as in some African countries.”
The new project is to bear the name CapWa – Capture of evaporated Water with novel membranes.