New systems to extract water from air, discover pipeline leaks, clean sewage water

September 11th, 2010 - 1:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Sep 11 (ANI): New water systems, to be unveiled soon, could extract precious drinking water from air, discover a leak in pipeline systems and even effectively clean sewage water.

Water is a valuable resource, and thus14 Fraunhofer institutes have joined forces in the Fraunhofer Alliance SysWasser to come up with sustainable water system technologies.

They will be unveiling “Research for Tomorrow’s Water Utilization” in hall A4, stand 201/302 at the IFAT/Entsorga fair.

The claimed that drinking water can be extracted from the humidity in the air even in the desert or in the middle of a megacity, which is made possible by a technology developed by Fraunhofer.

The principle behind it is a salt solution that runs down from a tower-shaped system and absorbs water from the air.

The hygroscopic brine is then pumped into a tank that stands a couple of meters high and contains a vacuum. Then, energy from solar collectors heats up the brine and the evaporated salt-free water condenses over a distillation bridge.

The brine concentrates again and flows down on the surface of the tower to absorb humidity in the air.

This process is particularly well suited for extracting drinking water in arid and semi-arid areas where more water evaporates than precipitation falls.

The researchers at Fraunhofer developed the HydroDyn management solution along with drinking water suppliers to offer the bets way to operate drinking water supply systems and locate leaks in the line system.

First of all, the drinking water system is recorded and modeled in the computer because that is the best way to figure out the optimum operating regime for these systems, or to plan how to expand supply systems. Beyond this, the system can automatically localize leaks. This is the reason why this software solution is already being used in Mongolia, Libya and Saudi Arabia as well as at the department of works in some German cities.

There is a certain portion of our precious water that does not even get to consumers because of leaky pipes and rust and instead it seeps unused into the soil.

“Intelligent” probes that check lines from the inside are one means of tracking down damage. Cracks or damage from corrosion in the pipes can also be localized with long-range ultrasound waves and these systems are suited for fresh water and sewage pipes as well as for pipelines.

Diamond-coated electrodes make it possible to clean water without chemistry.

The idea is that hydroxyl radicals are formed in the water on electrodes coated with conductive diamonds.

This highly effective oxidant destroys all substances containing carbon, meaning the organic pollution load of solvents right down to bacteria and pesticides. The only things that remain are harmless salts and carbon dioxide that escape as gases. This is how we can produce germ-free water without any problems.

Researchers have devised a low-cost modular vacuum evaporation process where the waste water is thickened in a vacuum at temperatures from approx. 40-50 degrees centograde. The waste water can be easily heated up with waste or solar heat and the desalinized water can even be used in production again.

They have also developed a process to reduce the volume and mass of sewage sludge where a portion of the sludge is treated with ultrasound and then mechanically disintegrated.

The residues processed in this fashion supply more biogas which means that they can be more easily drained. This new process has already been successfully applied to sewage treatment plants. (ANI)

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