Desalination Project

By: Inzar Khan

Background Information

What is desalination?

Desalination is the process that removes minerals from saline water.


Desalination is used to add additional water supplies, because of the scarcity of freshwater resources. Desalination is also used when there are natural disasters, such as a drought. Desalination projects can be built for these causes.


Desalination plants use many different forms of desalination. It can be solar, or from the sun, or electrical, with electricity. Most desalination plants are electrical, since they desalinate saltwater faster than solar desalination.

Fun Fact #1

30% of the world's irrigated areas suffer from salinity problems and remediation is seen to be very costly

Pros of Desalination

  • Prevents droughts from getting worse
  • More access to fresh water
  • Steady supply of fresh water

Cons of Desalination

  • Very costly (leads to economic problems)
  • Many problems if leftover water is dealt in a bad way
  • Problems for ocean ecosystem
  • Not very efficient
  • Ruins basis of food web
  • Takes two times the amount of saltwater than the freshwater produced
  • Discharge water will be too salty; endangers marine life when put back into the ocean
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Fun Fact #2

Among industrialized countries, the United States is one of the most important users of desalinated water, especially in California and parts of Florida. The cost of desalination has kept desalination from being used more often.

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Desalination Project

Desalination Design

  • "Salt" Water
  • Ice
  • Metal Pot
  • Foil
  • Ceramic Bowl
  • Block of Wood
  • Plastic Bags

Design of the Desalination Model

  • The block of wood is in the center of the metal pot, with the "salt" water around it.
  • On top of the wood, there is the ceramic bowl, which will catch the fresh water.
  • The metal pot is covered with foil.
  • Ice is on top of the foil inside of plastic bags.
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Process of Desalination

How Does It Work

  • Pour the "salt" water into the pan.
  • Throughout the process of desalination, the salt water will turn into fresh water and will collect in the ceramic bowl in the middle of the pot.
  • The salt water is heated, and evaporates to the top of the pan.
  • the ice is centered in the middle of the top of the pot, and it will allow the evaporated water to condensate on the foil.
  • Then it will dip down into the bowl in the middle of the pan.
  • The salt will be left behind, at the base of the pot.

Phase Changes

  • It evaporated to the top of the pan, separating the salt from the fresh water.
  • It condensates at the top of the pan.
  • The ice melted, because of the heat.


We started with 200 ml, but ended up with around 300 ml. How did this happen? We learned that the wood absorbed water from the previous trial. So we ended up with more water than we wanted.

We learned that we should not use wood in our model, since it ruins the data.

Fun Fact #3

In 2002 there were about 12,500 desalination plants around the world in 120 countries. They produce some 14 million cubic meters/day of freshwater, which is less than 1% of total world consumption.

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