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Feasibility Study of an Electrodialysis System for In-Home Water Desalination and Purification in Urban India

[+] Author Affiliations
Kishor G. Nayar, Prithiviraj Sundararaman, Jeffrey D. Schacherl, Catherine L. O’Connor, Michael L. Heath, Mario Orozco Gabriel, Natasha C. Wright, Amos G. Winter, V

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. DETC2015-47613, pp. V02AT03A046; 16 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2A: 41st Design Automation Conference
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5707-6
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Desalination of high salinity water is an effective way of improving the aesthetic quality of drinking water and has been demonstrated to be a characteristic valued by consumers. Across India, 60% of the groundwater, the primary water source for millions, is brackish or contains a high salt content with total dissolved solids (TDS) ranging from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 3,000ppm. The government does not provide sufficient desalination treatment before the water reaches the tap of a consumer. Therefore consumers have turned to in-home desalination. However, current products are either expensive or have low recovery, product water output per untreated feed water, (∼30%) wasting water resources. Electrodialysis (ED) is a promising technology that desalinates water while maintaining higher recovery (up to 95%) compared to existing consumer reverse osmosis (RO) products. This paper first explores the in-home desalination market to determine critical design requirements for an in-home ED system. A model was then used to evaluate and optimize the performance of an ED stack at this scale and designated salinity range. Additionally, testing was conducted in order to validate the model and demonstrate feasibility. Finally, cost estimates of the proposed in-home ED system and product design concept are presented. The results of this work identified a system design that provides consumers with up to 80% recovery of feed water with cost and size competitive to currently available in-home RO products.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Cities , Water



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