Brief on first MIDES demo site
The first MIDES demonstration site is being inaugurated on 27 November during the Desalination Week in Denia, Spain. Scaling up our MDC configuration, validating of laboratory results in real conditions, producing drinking water: This is the moment that our consortium has been working toward since 2016!
Desalination Week activities also include a 2-day Desalination Innovation School and a Sustainable Desalination Workshop.
Download the brief in PDF on the first MIDES demonstration site!
First MIDES Microbial-Powered Desalination Demonstration Site Opens in Spain
Project aims to enable drinking water production for more areas in need
As climate and other factors impact water availability, desalination is increasingly a key option for producing drinking water resources. However, current technologies require significant energy, with reverse osmosis (RO) units consuming at least 3 kWh/m3 of electricity. The MIDES project (for Microbial Desalination) is launching its first demonstration site in Denia, Spain, in the week of 25 November with a natural process that has potential to drastically lower energy use in desalination while also treating waste water.
Project partners have organized a Desalination Week in Denia that will feature the inauguration of the MIDES demonstration site on 27 Nov. at the Aqualia Racons Brackish Water Desalination Plant. And at the Port of Denia, MIDES is organizing a Desalination Innovation School, Sustainable Desalination Workshop and General Assembly for the consortium members of the EU Horizon 2020 project. See the program for Desalination Week!
What will MIDES do? To overcome thermodynamic limitations of RO desalination, Microbial Desalination Cells (MDC) concurrently treat wastewater and generate energy. MDCs can produce around 1.8 kWh of bioelectricity from the handling of 1 m3 of wastewater. This energy is used to remove salt content in seawater, or to partially reduce the salinity to lower the amount of energy required to complete desalination. The goal of the first demonstration site is to produce 150 L/h of desalinated water with less than 0.5 kWh/m3 of electric energy used.
The challenge: The MIDES consortium of 10 organizations from 7 countries has been working since 2016 to scale up this MDC configuration from successful laboratory results with new materials to this demonstration phase. The Denia demo site will produce drinking water in challenging real environment conditions by treating brackish water through advances in ultrafiltration pre-treatment, MDC application, remineralization, and disinfection. A ceramic microfiltration process will pretreat raw water from the Racons River, a complex natural brackish water with high fluctuation in composition and flow, dense natural organic matter and high fouling capacity. Potential challenges include bacterial growth, hydrodynamics, and material stability.
The process: Pre-treated water will be fed to the MDC, which is the heart of the MIDES process. This technology will simultaneously treat the saline water and wastewater, to produce both desalinated and treated water. The wastewater stream will provide a source of carbon for electroactive bacteria, which will transfer electrons to a current collector, and generate a current stream. Then through the use of ion-exchange membranes, this current will split the ions to the anode and cathode, generating an ion-free steam.
The future: Low-energy drinking water processes like MIDES can benefit communities that are near a salt/brackish water source, but may not have the power infrastructure to support conventional desalination. Follow MIDES as it brings this innovative concept a big step closer to reality in Denia, and at two future sites planned for different water conditions: in Chile and in Spain.
The MIDES consortium:
- Aqualia (lead partner)
- IHE Delft Institute for Water Education
- IMDEA Water
- SGL Carbon
- SimTech Simulation Technology
- University of Gabes
For more information: Matt Luna, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education: m.luna (at) un-ihe.org