The close relation between energy and water anticipates exigent situations in both aspects. Future energy and water crises must be solved in an environmental friendly and cost effective manner. On-site water treatment unit is a possible source-associated solution that conserves the vital water sources along with the enhancement of the green buildings. The main objective of this research is to treat grey water by means of a sustainable treatment system and produce a high quality permeate water that can be re-used for multiple purposes. This research firstly compared three solar-based treatment systems from a broad range of technologies used for grey water treatment. The treatment systems were assessed through a multicriteria decision analysis method embedding twelve sustainability indicators under three major criteria. Vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) was selected since it is an emerging technology for water treatment. It comprises of evaporation and condensation processes that mimics the water cycle in the nature. Secondly, solar powered vacuum membrane distillation (SVMD) unit was designed, assembled and tested. The thermally driven
separation process, only allow vapor to pass through a hydrophobic porous membrane. The VMD process is rarely used
for wastewater treatment due to the penetration of feed through the membrane. This is called pore wetting which is yielded by active surfactants present in the detergents. To overcome the problem of pore wetting, electro-coagulation (EC) was incorporated as a pre-treatment unit. Finally, the EC unit assisted the SVMD system to perform a successful field test under the real weather condition.

Authors: Mohammad Ramezanianpour, Muttucumaru Sivakumar

Published in: World Congress on Sustainable Technologies (WCST-2017)

  • Date of Conference: 11-14 December 2017
  • DOI: 10.20533/WCST.2017.0015
  • ISBN: 978-1-908320-78-0
  • Conference Location: University of Cambridge, UK