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Designing for the future: A Value-Sensitive Approach to Integrated Desalination and Brine Treatment
  • +2
  • Rodoula Ktori,
  • Mar Palmeros Parada,
  • Marcos Rodriguez-Pascual,
  • Mark C.M. van Loosdrecht,
  • Dimitrios Xevgenos
Rodoula Ktori
Delft University of Technology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Mar Palmeros Parada
Delft University of Technology
Marcos Rodriguez-Pascual
Delft University of Technology
Mark C.M. van Loosdrecht
Delft University of Technology
Dimitrios Xevgenos
Delft University of Technology


Seawater, a rich source of valuable materials, can be efficiently treated for water and circular economy benefits. The transition to resource recovery requires the consideration of societal benefits and costs. This study employs Value Sensitive Design approach, integrating stakeholder values and expectations into technical scenarios design and assessment for integrated seawater desalination in water and energy-scarce areas. This study implements techno-economic models in Python. Four technical scenarios were designed to treat seawater, minimize brine disposal and deal with trade-offs like energy costs. All scenarios achieved zero brine production. However, the trade-off between resource recovery and greenhouse gas emissions was evident, with scenarios emphasizing increased salt recovery leading to larger CO2 emissions. Scenario 1 excelled in terms of electrical energy consumption, emissions, and water production, while Scenario 2 and 3 performed best in terms of water and high-quality salt production. Despite its higher CO2 emissions, Scenario 4 proved most profitable due to chemical production using only electricity-based technologies. The choice of energy source and the assumption of negligible waste heat emissions significantly impacted the environmental outcomes, calling for a closer examination of different energy conditions and grid emissions averages. These findings highlight the importance of tailoring plant designs to regional needs. 
12 Jan 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
22 Jan 2024Published in TechRxiv