Potable Water pp 181-211 | Cite as

Advances in Desalination Technologies: Solar Desalination

  • Magdy M. Abou RayanEmail author
  • Berge Djebedjian
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 30)


Availability of freshwater is the prime mover of the human life activities. The advances in desalination technologies clearly show that desalinated water can be used as a substitute for freshwater to be used as potable water. A breakthrough in reverse osmosis costs has been reached, particularly in decreasing energy consumption. The introduction of nanotechnology in the membrane manufacture has resulted in reducing the volume of rejected brine which in turn alleviates the brine disposal issue. Several recent studies show that desalinated water for development of isolated areas is economically competitive to transportation of freshwater by pipeline. The introduction of solar energy to power desalination process has given a new dimension to the expansion of desalination technology. Several studies show the importance of solar desalination in countries suffering from freshwater shortage, particularly in isolated areas. This chapter presents an overview of desalination technologies with emphasis on solar energy-driven units. Some case studies are highlighted. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future avenues in solar desalination.


Solar desalination Potable water Water supply for remote areas Economics of desalination 

Acronyms and Abbreviations


Aggregate Demand


Autonomous Desalination System Concepts for Seawater and Brackish Water in Rural Areas with Renewable Energies—Potentials, Technologies, Field Experience, Socio-Technical and Socio-Economic Impacts


Autonomous Desalination Systems


Analysis of Variance


Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis


Combined Cycle Gas Turbine


Swiss Franc


Chilean Peso




Electrodialysis Reversal


Food and Agriculture Organization


Innovation Fund for Competitiveness


Global Water Intelligence


High Concentration Photovoltaic Thermal System


Humidification Dehumidification


International Desalination Association


Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias


King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


kilowatt per hour


kilowatt peak


Lower Convective Zone


Cubic meter


Membrane Distillation


Multiple-Effect Distillation


Multiple-Effect Boiling


Multiple-Effect Distillation


Multiple-Effect Humidification


Middle East and North Africa


Milligrams per liter


Main Gradient Zone


Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Institute for Micro- and Nanotechnology


Multi-Stage Flash Distillation


Mechanical Vapor Compression




Nonconvective Zone


Portable Thermoelectric Solar Still




Research and Development


Reverse Osmosis


Response Surface Methodology


Salinity-Gradient Solar Pond


Southern Mediterranean Countries


Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation


Seawater Reverse Osmosis


Total Dissolved Solids


United Arab of Emirates


Upper Convective Zone


Ultrahigh Concentrator Photovoltaic


United Nations Environment Program


Unit Product Cost


Vapor Compression


Water Distribution System


World Health Organization



This chapter provides an overview of desalination technologies and available information on solar desalination. The authors make no representations or warranties of any kind and assume no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents. References are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any manufacturers, websites, or other sources cited in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Water Research and Industrial Projects CenterMansoura UniversityEl-MansouraEgypt

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