Hitachi Zosen develops waste-fired desalination

Hitachi Zosen has targeted the Middle East markets with its development of a desalination system that uses heat from waste incineration to produce potable water.

The system uses either distillation or reverse osmosis (RO) according to Nikkei Asian News. For distillation, it deploys heat from incinerated rubbish to drive turbines that generate steam from saltwater. in the RO process the turbines drive a generator to power the process. One tonne of garbage can produce about 600 kWh of electricity or up to 100 tonnes of water Nikkei reported.

Hitachi Zosen is reported to intend to market versions that use either one or both processes to government agencies and state-run enterprises. Construction will cost as much as building a waste incinerator and a regular desalination unit combined, but operating expenses will be kept down. Hitachi Zosen aims to up its annual desalination facility sales to 50 billion yen (US$ 414 million) by 2020 – a fivefold increase.

Hitachi Zosen anticipates that its system will benefit from growth in the use of incinerators arising from a need to deal with the mounting waste that comes with economic development. Waste incineration is currently not widespread in the Middle East, where landfill is favoured.