Advancing underwater desalination
In 2020, DuPont Water Solutions entered into a collaboration with Waterise, an energy company that aims to provide solutions to the global water shortage. The collaboration aims to provide seawater reverse osmosis membranes—which purify water—and expertise to the company’s sub-sea desalination plants.
Desalination is a process that removes salt from seawater to produce freshwater for municipal, agricultural, or industrial use. The world’s oceans contain more than 97 percent of the planet’s water resources, providing an essentially unlimited raw material for seawater desalination. Due to its energy consumption profile and land requirements desalination is not widely used; currently only about one percent of freshwater is from desalinated sources.
Sub-sea desalination presents a more sustainable way to turn seawater to freshwater. It uses the natural hydrostatic pressure found at the depths of the sea to run the reverse osmosis, reducing the energy requirements of the desalination process by 40 percent. Sub-sea desalination also requires 80 percent less coastal land than land-based plants, presenting a viable option for communities with limited space. This process also requires lower amounts of pretreatment chemicals and eliminates the discharge of concentrated brine into coastal waters.
Waterise and DuPont Water Solutions will collaborate on research and development toward the mission of advancing sub-sea desalination operations and performance.
The 2,000 residents of Serdo experience water insecurity daily, needing to travel 1.5 kilometers (about a mile) to retrieve potable water. The community bored a well to find groundwater, but was devastated to learn that the water was dangerously hot, and heavily contaminated with salts and fluoride.
In 2020, our OxyMem company was named the “Breakthrough Technology Company of the Year” by the Global Water Awards for its innovative Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) technology.
Read more stories about how DuPont is leading in water stewardship in our Stories Hub...