SWEDISH SUSTAINABILITY FOUNDATION

Project: Community co-generation
of electricity and water

Purpose: To provide clean drinking water to small communities.

Advantage: This local utility will remove all possible contaminants from any type of water. It is easy to run and requires no chemicals except for descaling if the source water is hard. It will require no consumables except waste heat in the form of the coolant from a bio-energy generator. It can also run on solar heat.

Background: A technology called Membrane Distillation has been developed for industrial purification of water into Ultra Pure Water. The advantage of the technology is that it removes all possible contaminants from water without any need for chemicals or replacements of consumables. In consumer water treatment it will thus remove both arsenic, fluoride, nitrate and other chemicals and metals as well as pesticides, disinfectants and other organics as well as bacteria, virus, spores and other microbiological contaminants. And it will do so completely and without the need for expert maintenance.

Status: A full scale demonstration equipment has been tested successfully by the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in May 2006 at a power plant owned by the Swedish power operator Vattenfall AB

Implementation: The project will make field experiments with a full scale equipment of 200-5000 litres per day. The water is only meant for drinking and cooking and will be distributed in flasks or containers. A local distribution network will be set up to service approximately 1000 people. The commercial cost of equipment will be approximately 10 000 €. The cost of water will be approximately 0.001 € per litre, plus distribution.

Sustainability: The life of the equipment is approximately 20 years and components can be recycled. The only consumable is energy which will be provided as waste heat from a bio-energy generator or from solar heating.

Dissemination: The aim of the project is to establish a model for an ecologically and economically sustainable local supply of drinking water. Financial evaluation will enable local entrepreneurs to borrow money in a bank for the purchase of necessary equipment. Marketing will be a minor problem because there will be a ready local market for the high quality, low price, life saving commodity.

Management: Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden