Technological Centre

Lantania Aguas and CETIM will develop a project to reduce the cost of desalinated water

MOFsDEL will develop electrochemical technologies that will improve costs and optimise current desalination processes

Moncofa desalination plant, built and operated by Lantania.

Lantania Aguas and CETIM Tecnological Centre are working on the creation of a technique that reduces the production cost of desalinated water. For it, the Lantania Group company and our Technological Centre will develop disruptive electrochemical technologies with low energy consumption for the desalination of small water. This new project, called MOFsDEL, aims to achieve water recovery rates of over 90% while reducing the cost of desalination by at least 50%.

Climate change and increasing water scarcity, coupled with the high availability of salt water, have driven desalination plants in coastal areas with high water stress, from the Spanish Mediterranean arc to the Middle East. However, current desalination processes are energy-intensive, which hinders their economic and environmental sustainability.

For this reason, CETIM and Lantania Aguas will invest more than half a million euros over the next three years in the project, which will develop an innovative desalination system based on capacitive deionisation. As Cristina Martínez, head of the ECO BIO Technologies area at CETIM, explains: “The MOFsDEL electrochemical technique based on ‘capacitive deionisation’ will allow us to overcome the current limitations in terms of the useful life of the electrodes, desalination capacity and efficiency, reversibility capacity during the work cycles or energy recovery”.

Main advantages of MOFsDEL

MOFsDEL will provide numerous solutions to the current problems of desalination plants, such as increasing production yields and reducing economic, energy and environmental costs,” says Valentín García, Director of Public Works at Lantania Aguas.

On a social level, the project, financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the State Research Agency, will guarantee the supply of water for human, agricultural or industrial consumption in areas of high water stress, becoming a possible solution to droughts caused mainly by climate change.

Energy recovery

Thanks to the experience of Lantania Aguas in the development of large capacity desalination plants worldwide and the applied research work on water treatment technologies carried out by CETIM Technological Centre, we will be able to desalinate seawater efficiently while accumulating energy that will later be recovered.

During existing desalination processes with capacitive deionisation technologies, energy is always stored, but it is usually wasted. MOFsDEL aims to recover 50% of this energy, thus improving the energy efficiency of the process and minimising waste production compared to other types of technologies, such as membrane technologies. Critical raw materials present in salt water can also be recovered.

As Cristina Martínez points out, this research “could mean a before and after in the water reclamation market” and Valentín García already anticipates that “if everything goes well, we would like to implement this cutting-edge technology developed in Spain in the 4 continents where the Lantania Group operates”.

The project “MOFsDEL: MOFs integrated in electrochemical processes for desalination and energy recovery” (Reference: CPP2022-010060) has been funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by European Union-NextGenerationEU/PRTR.