The Horizon 2020 project DESOLINATION has started on June 1st, 2021 and will last 48 months. During this time, innovative technologies related to both concentrated solar power and desalination will be designed to improve the efficiency of existing concepts. Not only will improvement be made on the independent systems but also on their coupling taking advantage of the mutual interactions and potentialities.
DESOLINATION focuses on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region to test and deploy its technology and in particular this first prototype to be built on the premises of King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is expected that the DESOLINATION prototype will provide low-cost renewable electricity and low-cost fresh water. Apart from these parameters, the final system will also benefit from a substantial reduction of CO2 emissions from traditional desalination systems.
DESOLINATION will innovate on different fronts. On the concentrated solar side, carbon dioxide blends will be the core of the innovation, leading to more efficient and less expensive power cycles and controllable parameters. On the water side, forward osmosis will be developed and linked to membrane distillation using the wasted heat of the power cycle to generate freshwater. Finally, a unique combination of the power and water cycles will allow the disruptive coupled system to work at high waste-heat-to-freshwater conversion efficiency.
The project, that is coordinated by Giampaolo Manzolini (Department of Energy, Politecnico di Milano) includes 19 partners from 9 EU countries and 3 GCC countries: 13 high-level universities and research centres (Politecnico di Milano, Fraunhofer Institute, Lund University, Cranfield University, Tekniker, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, University of Brescia, Technical University of Eindhoven, University of Maribor, Luleå University of Technology, King Saud University, University of Bahrain and German University of Technology) working alongside 3 industrials (Baker Hughes, Cobra and ACSP), and 3 SMEs (Protarget, Temisth and Euroquality).
This article was first published on July 22 by Politecnico di Milano