Potential of Solar-driven CDI Technology for Water Desalination in Egypt

Ashraf Seleym, Moustafa Elshafei


Freshwater scarcity is one of the most challenging problems facing the world today. Rivers, lakes, and surface ice represent only 1.2% of the fresh water sources on earth, while ground water represent over 30% of the potential fresh water. The Egyptian quota from the Nile River is limited to 55 billion m3/yr, and expected to decrease due to increasing demand of water by other Nile basin countries. According to an Egyptian government report, the total population of Egypt increased from 22 million in 1950 to around 85 million in 2010. This increase in population growth will continue for decades and it is likely to increase to between 120-150 million by 2050. Egypt has reached a state where the quantity of water available is imposing limits on its national economic development.  As indication of water scarcity, Egypt passed the international threshold value of 1000 m3/capita/year in the nineties, and it is expected to cross the threshold of absolute water scarcity of 500 m3/capita/yr by 2025. Capacitive de-ionization (CDI) is a relatively new technology that was developed as recently as the late 1960s. In CDI systems, saline water is made to pass between a pair of electrodes connected to a voltage source. Ions are stored inside the pores of electrodes in CDI via the applied electric field strength. CDI is a membrane less technology, and the problems of membrane fouling in the Reverse Osmosis technology is not present in CDI. It has the potential to be energy efficient compared with other related techniques, robust technology for water desalination. This paper explores low cost and efficient desalination technologies for brackish water for irrigation and drinking purposes using the abundant solar energy in Egypt.


solar photovoltaic; capacitive de-ionization; water desalination

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21622/resd.2017.03.3.251


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Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development

E-ISSN: 2356-8569

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Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT)