Salt is removed from seawater by different varieties of two basic processes: distillation, which is also referred to as "thermal," and reverse osmosis, which is also called "membrane." Distillation involves boiling seawater until it evaporates, leaving the salt behind, and then allowing the water vapor to condense and collect elsewhere. Reverse osmosis uses pressure to force seawater against a specialized filter or semipermeable membrane with openings too small to allow the dissolved salt to pass through.Know More
The distillation processes used for desalination include the multi-stage flash method, multi-effect distillation and vapor compression distillation. Membrane processes include reverse osmosis, electrodialysis and electrodialysis reversal. Multi-stage flash distillation and reverse osmosis account for the majority of the desalination plant methods in use worldwide. The world's largest desalination plant, an integrated power and water facility, is in Saudi Arabia. The largest portion of a domestic water supply produced by seawater desalination, at about 40 percent, is in Israel.
Both the distillation and reverse osmosis desalination methods are expensive. A great deal of electrical power is used, with distillation ranking as the greater energy consumer. Cogeneration is a possible solution to the cost issue which applies the excess heat produced by an electrical power plant to an additional process, such as desalination, in a dual-purpose facility. The majority of cogeneration power plants producing potable water from seawater are in North Africa or in the Middle East where abundant petroleum reserves help offset the limited accessibility of drinking water.Learn more about Chemistry
Fractional distillation involves boiling crude oil so that the various types of hydrocarbon molecules present vaporize, each in turn. The vapors are then condensed into separate batches according to type.Full Answer >
Fractional distillation is a high-temperature process that separates liquids and gases from unrefined crude oil. According to experts at How Stuff Works, there is a variety of elements in crude oil that are of different weights, sizes and boiling points, so the distillation process requires several steps to separate all elements from the original fossil fuel.Full Answer >
Drinkable water can be obtained from seawater by removing salt through a distillation process. Distillation is a simple process that can be done on a small scale as a personal project or on a large scale as a desalination plant that provides drinking water for many. Despite its simplicity, desalination is an expensive process compared to getting drinking water from fresh water sources.Full Answer >
Salt is harvested from seawater through evaporation. The evaporation method depends on the geographical area and whether the saltwater is processed in large or small batches.Full Answer >