What is seawater desalination?
It is a process that turns ocean water into fresh drinking water by removing salt and impurities. The process involves either reverse osmosis membrane or thermal distillation (evaporation) technologies. Poseidon's projects including the Carlsbad Desalination Project plant use reverse osmosis technology.
How does the reverse osmosis process work?
Water is pushed under high pressure through a semi-permeable membrane to separate salts and other solids from the water molecules. The membrane acts like a microscopic strainer that allows only the water molecules to pass thorough. The technology was developed over 30 years ago.
Can the salt and minerals extracted be used?
Unfortunately not. The amount of salt generated is too great to be processed at the project site while the amount of mineral is too small to justify the expense of additional processing.
Where else has desalination been successful?
Similar facilities have been operating worldwide for several decades. Desalination is used in arid, coastal regions throughout the world. There are more than 21,000 desalination facilities operating worldwide.
Does weather affect the availability of water for desalination?
No. It is a drought-proof process unaffected by rainfall or other weather conditions. Part of the testing done at the pilot project determined that even in the most difficult operating conditions, the process works well.