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Desalination is one of the principle upcoming alternative sources for fresh water available today and may have the potential to be applied on a much greater scale, specifically in the Mediterranean countries.
This study has been carried out in the frame of institutional research and to serve as an input to the activities of the task force. The aim of this study is to provide a review of the use and performance of desalination technology as well as the need for further research and development, and to come up with guidelines and recommendations for the European decision maker.
The first part of this study summarises the current status of desalination including the analysis of general characteristics such as operation material needs, environmental impacts, by-products and their disposal, maintenance needs, energy requirements and costs. It covers the five major desalination processes being used in commercial desalination (ie multiple stage flash distillation (MSF), multiple-effect distillation (MED), and vapour compression (VC), known as the thermal processes and reverse osmosis (RO) and electrodialysis (ED), known as the membrane processes. The second part of this study provides an analysis of the expected development of desalination over the next 20 years, based on an expert inquiry. .

Additional information

Authors: RIBEIRO J, JRC Sevilla (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 16434 EN (1996) 57pp., FS, free of charge
Availability: Available from the Public Relations and Publications Unit, JRC Ispra, I-21020 Ispra (IT)
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