Clean drinking water is a daily necessity – and there is simply not enough of it. Shortages of drinking water impact the survival of the world’s population because nearly 50 percent of all potable water is used by industry and agriculture.
According to the United Nations, nearly 700 million people do not have access to clean water globally. This figure is estimated to rise to 1.8 billion during the next ten years. One method for rapidly increasing the amount of fresh water is to extract it from seawater through a process called desalination. Together, wire mesh and wire cloth play an absolutely critical role in creating new supplies of fresh water.
The International Desalination Association (IDA) indicates there are approximately 18,426 desalination plants located in 150 countries, supplying water to nearly 300 million people. Most of these are in the extremely dry climates of the Middle East. However in the U.S., drought-inflicted California has also added desalination to its water generating portfolio with the largest plant in the Western Hemisphere. These are three examples of the world’s largest desalination facilities.
Power consumption and wastewater brine are two issues that affect all desalination plants.
There are several different methods of desalination. Two of the main processes – highly simplified here – are seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) and multistage flash desalination (MSF).
Demisters using wire cloth and mesh, separate and capture liquid in the vapor stream during MSF desalination. The demister mats consist of several layers of wire mesh, each staggered relative to the next. These mats are placed horizontally facing the stream of vertically rising vapor. As the vapor rises, droplets land on the mesh wires, merging into larger drops that drip down to the bottom layer. Since the wire mesh presents very little vapor resistance, this enables production of distilled water with extremely low salinity.
Wire mesh demister performance depends on many variables including:
Clearly, desalination is a critically important source of fresh water for the world. A proven, scalable technology, desalination also depends on the properties of wire mesh and cloth during the MSF process.
Newark Wire Cloth, a recognized leader in the wire cloth industry, manufactures off-the-shelf and custom woven wire cloth for any and every application. It has specialized in the fabrication of wire cloth parts and assemblies for the past 105 years. Contact us today to discuss how wire cloth can help create water for the world in your next desalination project or application.