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DESALINATION TECHNOLOGIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS: CASE STUDY IN LIBYA

El-Hajaji, AHS (2018) DESALINATION TECHNOLOGIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS: CASE STUDY IN LIBYA. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

Water, otherwise known as the pool of life, is the very essence of all living things and as such is vital for survival, whether for living beings, social, economic development or for environmental sustainability. However, its continuing existence is severely threatened for future as a result of climate change, carbon footprint, population growth, environmental damage, combined with natural disasters like droughts and floods. The prospect of an alternative solution such as desalination of sea or brackish water to counter the limit on conventional water resources such as groundwater, which cannot meet demand, is therefore very promising, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions where water scarcity and impaired quality prevails. Consequently, desalination technology has now become a burgeoning industry in North Africa or southern Mediterranean countries, such as in Libya. However, evidence suggests that as a result of by-products being discharged directly into the sea, particularly from coastal desalination plants, the physico-chemical parameters of the receiving water are changing and posing a threat to marine ecosystems. As a result of studies conducted on these parameters to analyse the brine emitted from the Zwuarah and the West Tripoli distillation plants (ZWDP & WTRIS) on the Libyan coastline, evidence shows there is a significant positive correlation at both sites between the biological data and physico-chemical parameters (rs=0.673; p=0.002) and (rs=0.637; p=0.003), which is a clear indication of the impact of brine disposal from both plants on the marine environment. For most of coastal desalination plants on the Libyan coastline, the most practical and least expensive brine disposal option is to discharge it into the sea. It is necessary therefore, to effectively manage desalination reject brine in order to ensure more efficient disposal and reuse. Therefore, it is suggested that experimental studies are aimed for dual benefit of on-site generation of sodium hypochlorite through brine electrolysis and to recover minerals and NaCl from the brine using evaporation ponds, while protecting the environment. Following the first experiment, the outcome of brine utilisation showed a significant production of NaOCl using graphite electrodes (MCCA 1.82 gr/m3). At interelectrode spacing 2 cm and 4 cm, the power consumption was higher, with a greater concentration of sodium hypochlorite generation varying between 10-25 kw/m3 (573-2140ppm) and 29-24 kwm-3 (572-2600ppm) than at interelectrode spacing 6cm 17-13 kwm-3 (350-1790ppm). Consequently, the selection of an optimum electrical consumption level is key in establishing the best scenario in terms of economy and efficiency. Subsequent to the second experiment of brine evaporation in the ponds, results showed that the evaporation rate in August was lower than in September (9.06 mmday-1, 14.63 mmday-1) respectively. The results of the SEM/EDS test showed that due to elevated surges of Na+ and Cl-, halite (NaCl) was the main mineral evident during crystallisation of the salt samples. Hence, the two experiments reveal that brine can be recycled productively, while protecting the environment.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Desalination technologies,Brine, Physico-chemical Parameters,Libya, Zwuarah and West Tripoli distillation plants (ZWDP &WTRIS)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Divisions: Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2018 08:20
Last Modified: 17 May 2018 10:29
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00008585
Supervisors: Prof Alkhaddar, R
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8585

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