Temperature Swing Solvent Extraction: Membrane-less and Non-Evaporative Desalination

Temperature swing solvent extraction (TSSE) is a radically different desalination technology that is both membrane-less and non-evaporative, making it uniquely suited for tackling the growing challenge of high-salinity desalination. The technology utilizes a low-polarity solvent with temperature-dependent water solubility for the selective extraction of water over salt from saline feeds (schematic below.) Moderate temperature swings power the process, making TSSE compatible with sustainable energy sources such as solar-thermal collectors, geothermal energy, and low-grade waste heat. Our study, published in ES&T Letters, demonstrates TSSE for the desalination of hypersaline brines. Our follow-up study further pushes the capability of TSSE, to achieve zero liquid discharge (ZLD) for almost saturated brines (article in ES&T).