Brine utilisation for cooling and salt production in wind-driven seawater greenhouses: Design and modelling

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Abstract

Brine disposal is a major challenge facing the desalination industry. Discharged brines pollute the oceans and aquifers. Here is it proposed to reduce the volume of brines by means of evaporative coolers in seawater greenhouses, thus enabling the cultivation of high-value crops and production of sea salt. Unlike in typical greenhouses, only natural wind is used for ventilation, without electric fans. We present a model to predict the water evaporation, salt production, internal temperature and humidity according to ambient conditions. Predictions are presented for three case studies: (a) the Horn of Africa (Berbera) where a seawater desalination plant will be coupled to salt production; (b) Iran (Ahwaz) for management of hypersaline water from the Gotvand dam; (c) Gujarat (Ahmedabad) where natural seawater is fed to the cooling process, enhancing salt production in solar salt works. Water evaporation per face area of evaporator pad is predicted in the range 33 to 83 m3/m2·yr, and salt production up to 5.8 tonnes/m2·yr. Temperature is lowest close to the evaporator pad, increasing downwind, such that the cooling effect mostly dissipates within 15 m of the cooling pad. Depending on location, peak temperatures reduce by 8–16 °C at the hottest time of year.

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Akinaga, T., Generalis, S. C., Paton, C., Igobo, O. N., & Davies, P. A. (2018). Brine utilisation for cooling and salt production in wind-driven seawater greenhouses: Design and modelling. Desalination, 426, 135–154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2017.10.025

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