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DESALINATION IN CYPRUS

INTRODUCTION
Water resources are a key factor in the development process and in
the balance of ecosystems. The earth is facing major problems, involving
their adequacy and their management, which lead to local conflicts and
disturbance of transnational relations. Key factors of this tension are the
increase in water consumption due to population growth, the changing
circumstances and requirements of life (consumption model) and the
uncontrolled consumption, which is combined with a productive and
developmental model of voracious that seems indifferent for natural
resources. Depending on the quality criteria and the type of management
used, water can be seen as a natural resource, as an economic asset and
as an environmental element. Compared, however, with other natural
resources and with other economic goods, water has a peculiarity: it is
unique and irreplaceable. Water is thought as a precondition of human
existence and life on the planet and has no substitute in the development.
The management of lasting (sustainable) water resources is a key
aspect of sustainable development. Water resources are not unlimited.
And indeed, in many regions of the world, as well as in Cyprus, they are
not sufficient and it is this insufficiency that creates the greatest obstacle
to development. Worldwide water consumption for various uses
(residential-urban, manufacturing development, industrial, irrigation-rural),
is growing rapidly. This offer should not be taken for granted, since it has
some upper limits. The living standards in Cyprus, combined with the
climatic conditions of the island, lead to high demand and thus to
inadequate water availability. This implies high costs for the sustainable
management of water resources. The long planning and rational water
pricing may mitigate this cost.
In Cyprus, the lack of water, is one of the most serious problems.
This is mainly due to reduced precipitation during the year and in the
uneven distribution of rainfall in various regions of the island. To solve the
water problem in Cyprus, the State has taken some steps. Some of them
include the construction of dams on rivers with great flow, the collection of
rain water in tanks and the use of pipes to transport water from areas with
high rainfall in areas facing water problem such as Larnaca, Nicosia,
Famagusta, etc. Nevertheless, the problem was and continues to be vivid,
so it was decided to construct desalination plants, which became the most
important source of potable water in Cyprus. Through this project the
presence of potable water became independent from the weather
conditions.

CEH370 ASSIGNMENT 1
CHATZIMANOLI r.n.: 8092

Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

THE DESALINATION
Desalination is the process of descaling from a saline substance and
mainly from saline waters. In other words, desalination is a method of
obtaining potable water from seawater, brackish rivers and lakes. It is
mainly applied in areas with dry climate, poor drinking water and access
to seawater. The desalination began to grow in the 20th century with the
appearance of the water shortage in many regions of the Earth.
As it is known, 97.3% of global water is sea stocks mixed in large
proportions with various dissolved salts in such form that its use for
drinking or even for industrial processes becomes impossible. Historically,
the idea of desalination dates back to ancient Greek seamen who applied
it during the 4th century BC by the evaporation of seawater as it has been
described by Aristotle. Another desalination description can be found by
an Arab author of 8th century AC, which is based in distillation.
Although desalination by distillation and evaporation were already
known from the ancient years, they developed on a large scale from the
1960s onwards. The last 50 years, desalination has turned into a reliable
potable water production technique using a variety of technical processes
(MSF, MED, RO, etc.). Today there are approximately 12,300 desalination
units in 155 countries with production of over 46.000.000 cubic meters of
potable water furnishing with water more than 23 million people.

DESALINATION UNITS IN CYPRUS

The prolonged drought that occurred in our region during the last
decade of the 20th century, which resulted in unsatisfactory water storage
in dams that were already built, imposed the establishment of desalination
plants of seawater in order to distinguish the percentages of rainfall from
the presence of potable water in urban and touristic centers. Initially, the
desalination plant at Dhekelia was built.This started working in April 1997
and had a capacity of 40,000 cubic meters of water a day. This unit serves
the domestic water needs of Famagusta and partially the needs of Larnaca
and Nicosia.

CEH370 ASSIGNMENT 1
CHATZIMANOLI r.n.: 8092

Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

The unit since July of 2008 has added 10,000 m3/day and since April
2009, 10,000 m3/day were added to that reaching today the total
production of 60,000 m3/day.
The Larnaca Desalination Unit started working in June 2001 and had
a capacity of 52,000 cubic meters of water a day. The unit was expanded
by 10,000 m3/day and since January 2009, its capacity reached the 62,000
m3/day. The Larnaca desalination plant along with the desalination plant at
Dhekelia cover largely the needs of provinces Nicosia, Larnaca and
Famagusta.
In December of 2008 the construction of the mobile desalination unit
of Monastery was completed. This produces 20,000 m3/day. This unit
served the needs of Limassol until the end of 2011. Also, in January 2009
the mobile water treatment Unit of the river Garylli was completed with a
capacity of 10,000 m3/day covering the the domestic water needs of
Limassol.
To meet the needs of the Limassol district for the next twenty years
it was decided to build a permanent unit in the area of Akrotiri-Episkopi
with a capacity of 40,000 m3/day expandable to 60,000 m3/day. To meet
the needs of the province of Paphos it has been constructed on the site of
Kouklia a mobile desalination unit with a capacity of 30,000 m3/day. The
unit came into operation in November 2010 and the duration of the
contract was three years. The construction of a permanent unit in Paphos
is under study. The water development department, (T.A.Y.), has signed an
agreement with the electricity authority of Cyprus (A.H.K.) for the purchase
of desalinated water, from the desalination unit in the area of Vasilikos.

The desalination units consist of:


a) Underwater sea water pipelines and rejection of brine.
b) Beach seawater pumping station.
c) Inland pipelines for transferring seawater and dumping of brine.
d) Desalination plant.
e) pumping station and pipelines of desalinated water at TAY tanks.

Desalination plants have the advantage of not depleting water


resources and giving good quality water. Nevertheless, desalination units
do not cease to be the most costly, energy-guzzling and environmentally
overcrowded solution for addressing the lack of water. The sea water is
taken from a point located at a distance of 500-1,000 meters from the
shore, (depending on the prevailing conditions in the maritime area).
Through the pipelines, seawater ends at the pumping station located

CEH370 ASSIGNMENT 1
CHATZIMANOLI r.n.: 8092

Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

on the beach. After passing through dense grids to remove solids, it is


pumped into the unit which is located away from the beach, about 500800 meters.
( ;; ;;)

Importance of desalination plants


The confluence of two permanent desalination plants to solve the
water problem plaguing our place is huge. As it has been already
mentioned, the desalination plants in Larnaca and Dhekelia cover a large
part of the need in water in the provinces of Nicosia, Larnaca and
Famagusta. According to current data, the needs of these three Provinces
amounted to 50 CCL water a year. The two standing units have the ability
to produce a minimum quantity of 40 CCL per year. At the same time, the
water problem of the city and province of Limassol has been reduced with
the operation of the mobile unit in the Monastery and the Garylli. Limassol
is fully independent by rainfall after and unit operation of Episcopi. As far
as Paphos, with the operation of the mobile unit that was constructed in
2010, it is not facing any problems ever since.

The Larnaca Desalination Plant

Desalination Methods

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CHATZIMANOLI r.n.: 8092

Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

Desalination methods used today are classified mainly into two


categories:
-

exhaust and methods


membrane methods.

There are also other methods that are still in the experimental stage
or they are not advantageous from an economic point of view. Exhaust
methods are being used today only in the oil-producing Middle East
countries that have abundant energy resources, while the rest of the world
mostly uses the method of Reverse Osmosis, which is more economical.
Evaporation or Thermal methods
Multistage evaporation (Multi-Effect Evaporation Distillation ME
MED)
Multistage flash distillation (Multi-Stage Flash Distillation - MSF)
Evaporation vapor recompression (Mechanical Vapor CompressionMVC VC)
Thermal vapor compression (Thermal Vapor Compression TVC)
.
.
. .
Membrane Methods
Reverse Osmosis (Reverse Osmosis - RO)
Electrodialysis (Electrodialysis ED)
Reverse Electrodialysis (Electrodialysis Reversal - DR)

Other methods
Ion Exchange
Freeze
Membrane distillation
Solar gasification
Crystallization with hydric ethane
Nanofiltrer (carbon-nanotube membrane).

CEH370 ASSIGNMENT 1
CHATZIMANOLI r.n.: 8092

Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

Comparison of desalting processes

CEH370 ASSIGNMENT 1
CHATZIMANOLI r.n.: 8092

Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

Below, we analyze the method of reverse osmosis, which is the


most widespread.

Reverse osmosis (reverse osmosis)


The method of reverse osmosis is the most widely used, reliable and
economical technology for producing high quality irrigation water. The
operating principle of the method is based on a reversal of the natural
phenomenon of osmosis. Normally, when two liquids with different density
(concentration of salts) come into contact, then the liquid with the lowest
density, shifts towards the liquid with the highest density, until there is a
balance (in order for the whole mixture to obtain the same density). This
property is called Diffusion.
However, when a semi-permeable membrane is inserted between
the two liquids, then the passage of salts in blocked, but this does not
occur with water (solvent) which is allowed to flow freely in the saline
solution. The osmotic flow from the thinner to the denser fluid continues
until it reaches a state of equilibrium, which is characterized by the
highest level of saline solution (the difference in level of solutions
corresponding to the osmotic pressure). This property is called Osmosis.
But if we put pressure on saline, higher than osmosis, then the flow is
reversed and we get clean water from saline to the solvent. This is called
Reverse Osmosis.

Method of Reverse Osmosis

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Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

In modern applications reverse osmosis desalination process is


automated with a high-pressure pump continuously to channel seawater in
membranes inside a container of a high pressure (high pressure vessel).
The solution feed (feed water) carved in the Filtrate (purified water)
flowing through the membranes (permeate water) and in high
concentration solution discharged salts, brine or (brine).

The membranes are composed of two distinct layers, the hymen


(skin), which is the active part of the membrane for separation of water
from dissolved or suspended components and by a thin layer of porous
material, which is band pass both from water and from the rest of the
ingredients contained in it. The membranes are made of organic polymeric
compounds and is so thin and fragile, so their formatting is required (with
the help of various studs), in units called membrane components
(modules). The four basic types of membrane elements are the elements
of a helical winding (spiral wound module), the hollow fiber (hollow fiber
module), tubular (tubular module) elements and circular elements (Platte
and frame modules) with the first two types to have wide-ranging
application in desalination.
Between the two membranes, there is a separator membrane of
porous material (usually Pet-Dacron mesh impregnated with resins), which
prevents their union (because of high pressure) and facilitates uniform
water flow between the membranes. The two tips of the membranes of the

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Dr. George Michaelides

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open section cling to a centrally perforated pipe from where clean water is
removed (filtrate). Usually the main perforated pipe is rolled up to form a
cylinder, 26 dossiers membranes with separators that are separated from
the plastic grids separating the power channel of brine. These components
of the membranes usually have a length of 30.5 to 152 cm with a diameter
of 5.1 to 30.5 cm.

Three-dimensional visualization of small reverse osmosis


unit

s) Pretreatment: Removed suspended particles and microorganisms are


destroyed in order to prevent their deposition in the membranes. The pretreatment consists of an aggregation of colloids, prechlorination organic
substances by adding chemicals, filter through sand filters and adding
sulphate acid to regulate acidity. Then the filtered water passes through
special polypropylene filters that retain the solid substances with 1mm >
size for reasons of protection of reverse osmosis membranes and follows
the mixed plastics (because the free chlorine destroys the membranes).
b) Reverse Osmosis: high pressure pumps fuel reverse osmosis
membranes with water under pressure 65-80 atmospheres in order to
achieve the passage of water and discard the salts. Recovery of
desalinated water is approximately 45-50% (1 m 3 of desalinated seawater
m3/2) and the remainder (brine) passing through the pumps where due to
high pressure allows the recovery of 25-30% of the original energy.
Pipeline then is discharged overboard to the point that there are currents
so there is no concentration of salts and contaminants.

CEH370 ASSIGNMENT 1
CHATZIMANOLI r.n.: 8092

Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

c) finishing: improving water characteristics (hardness, acidity correcting


increase) with the use of chemicals (processed lime, carbon dioxide or
sulphate acid) into the tank and then sent to the water supply network or

stored.

Positives and negatives of desalination


Positive points

A constant supply of good quality water to the public


This depletes water resources, thus helping to environmental
sustainability

Indirectly helps in maintaining good quality of inland surface


and underground waters, hence helps in environmental
sustainability.

Has higher production costs than the usual sources

It is energy consuming, so burdens the wider


environment through gaseous pollutants, since the
power is produced by contractual methods.

raises the pressure on the marine environment by placing

Negative points

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CHATZIMANOLI r.n.: 8092

Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

the brine

Produces noise near the


unit

Conclusions
Desalination is an important alternative for the supply of good
quality water. It is, also in accordance with the principles of the water
resources management of Directive 2000/60. The inevitable choice of
constructing desalination units has been proved particularly beneficial for
Georgia and salutary for the water supply in large urban centres.
Nevertheless, the construction of desalination plants is not a panacea.
Environmental costs, mainly because of the gaseous pollutants, must be
taken under consideration, particularly now, with all the threats that our
planet faces. In addition, the economic costs (no recovery) at a time when
the price of oil notes record and shows no inclination to descend should
seriously worry us. The measures proposed to minimize the negative
points, after appropriate environmental study, include:
1. Proper siting of units
2. Proper siting of pipelines of water intake and outlet of
brine
3. Right duct design and achieve proper disposal of
dilution
4. Chemical processing at outputs
5. Measures for noise

6. Examining the use of renewable energy sources

Dr. George Michaelides

Mara

CEH370 ASSIGNMENT 1
CHATZIMANOLI r.n.: 8092