Water Out of Waste – Solar-Desalination-Humidification-Dehumidification Auxiliaries Processing Extractive Industrial Operations

Document Type : Original Article


1 National Salinity Research Center (NSRC), Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Yazd, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), Kensington Gore, SW7 2AR, London, UK.

3 Young Researchers Club, Masjed Soleyman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran.


Oil and gas drilling produce saline brine, posing a threat and great risk to the environment. Desalination is a pathway to freshwater production and brine removal, however, the energy required for processing and highly concentrated brines curtail the approach. Solar desalination humidification dehumidification (SDHDH) systems are a low energy and economical response that solves the problems. The current study aims to demonstrate saltwater solar-desalination, an innovative SDHDH design, used to process the waste materials. The method was successfully tested at full scale as follows: In a 400 m2 application containing 600 m3 saline-water, the total dissolved solids (TDS) were equal to 141 g l-1, requiring an input of 196.2 kW electrical energy. As a result of SDHDH 266 m3 of freshwater was obtained, with TDS equal to 210 mg l-1. The water-recovery percentage achieved was 44%. The salt removal efficiency was near 100%. Surface-time efficiency varied, between 8 to 30 l m-2day-1. SDHDH use is an effective mechanism to elute freshwater from concentrated brines, maximizing productivity, and lowering hazardous impact to the environment providing benefits to ecosystem and human services alike.