Title: Recovery of Materials and Fresh Water Supply Using Renewable Energy
Publisher: MedCrave
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC100273
ISSN: 2574-9927
URI: http://medcraveonline.com/MSEIJ/MSEIJ-02-00024.pdf
DOI: 10.15406/mseij.2018.02.00024
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Growing population, progressively increasing lifestyle and related demand creates pressure on the huge but finite global resources. The water-energy-food nexus implicitly includes also materials both fuels and non-fuels. Besides water, food and energy demand, the demand for materials is in fact also steadily growing. Pressure on materials resources is often directly translated into pressure on land use, massively utilized already for food and energy production, fresh water, fuels supply, etc. New technologies will make our life even easier and more comfortable but inevitably the pressure on resources will rise also in scenarios with high renewable energy sources (RES) penetration. Direct utilization of RES at the harvesting locations for the production of materials could be an option also to avoid huge energy transmission and storage infrastructures, as well as benefit of overall higher efficiency. One way can be the use of RES to extract brines and salts from sea water. The produced materials could then be stored and transported to land for further processing possibly using RES sources as well. Potentially the impact on land could be negligible or even positive, since deserts, dry inhabited sea shores or islands, unsuitable for agriculture, or salt lakes could be utilized and water generated at the same time. RES harvesting potential in such areas is often huge while possibility to deliver the energy to dense populated areas is limited. In this paper, the potential for recovery of materials and fresh water from sea water using RES is investigated. The conclusions are indicating concrete possibilities for sustainable materials production in particular for calcium, potassium and magnesium for which the European Union (EU) supply dependency is 100%. The potential to generate significant amounts of fresh water in remote, often dry areas is huge as well. The technology could be exploited by all countries with sea access.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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