Navigation Links
Rocky water source
Date:6/11/2008

Gypsum, a rocky mineral is abundant in desert regions where fresh water is usually in very short supply but oil and gas fields are common. Writing in International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Peter van der Gaag of the Holland Innovation Team, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, has hit on the idea of using the untapped energy from oil and gas flare-off to release the water locked in gypsum.

Fresh water resources are scarce and will be more so with the effects of global climate change. Finding alternative sources of water is an increasingly pressing issue for policy makers the world over. Gypsum, explains van der Gaag could be one such resource. He has discussed the technology with people in the Sahara who agree that the idea could help combat water shortages, improve irrigation, and even make some deserts fertile.

Chemically speaking, gypsum is calcium sulfate dihydrate, and has the chemical formula CaSO4.2H2O. In other words, for every unit of calcium sulfate in the mineral there are two water molecules, which means gypsum is 20% water by weight.

van der Gaag suggests that a large-scale, or macro, engineering project could be used to tap off this water from the vast deposits of gypsum found in desert regions, amounting to billions of cubic meters and representing trillions of liters of clean, drinking water.

The process would require energy, but this could be supplied using the energy from oil and gas fields that is usually wasted through flaring. Indeed, van der Gaag explains that it takes only moderate heating, compared with many chemical reactions, to temperatures of around 100 Celsius to liberate water from gypsum and turn the mineral residue into bassanite, the anhydrous form. "Such temperatures can be reached by small-scale solar power, or alternatively, the heat from flaring oil wells can be used," he says. He adds that, "Dehydration under certain circumstances starts at 60 Celsius, goes faster at 85 Celsius, and faster still at 100 degrees. So in deserts - where there is abundant sunlight - it is very easy to do."

van der Gaag points out that the dehydration of gypsum results in a material of much lower volume than the original mineral, so the very process of releasing water from the rock will cause local subsidence, which will then create a readymade reservoir for the water. Tests of the process itself have proved successful and the Holland Innovation Team is planning a pilot study in a desert location.

"The macro-engineering concept of dewatering gypsum deposits could solve the water shortage problem in many dry areas in the future, for drinking purposes as well as for drip irrigation," concludes van der Gaag.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter van der Gaag
pvdgaag@hollandinnovationteam.nl
Inderscience Publishers
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. School of Robofish provides basis for underwater robot teams
2. Geology and biology meet in the history of US southwestern desert surface waters
3. Mars water appears to have been too salty to support life
4. Researcher strives for watershed moment
5. Saltwater sleuths: Seeking clues to help determine the ages of fish and shellfish populations
6. Reproductive plasticity revealed: Neotropical treefrog can choose to lay eggs in water or on land
7. NOAA reports coastal waters show decline in contaminants
8. Biodiversity -- its in the water
9. Environmental fate of nanoparticles depends on properties of water carrying them
10. Freshwater herring had salty origin
11. Herbicide-tolerant crops can improve water quality
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... 30, 2017 The research team of The ... (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery ... of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration ... ... A research team ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health ... and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving ... Adoption Model sm . In addition, CHS previously ... U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... its high level of EMR usage in an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , Mar. 23, 2017 Research and Markets ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... Cambridge ... a splash at this year’s Bio-IT World Conference and Expo in Boston ... Data Lake® 4.0 solution. The Anzo Smart Data Lake is also a finalist ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... evidence, has expanded to the East Coast. It has opened an office in downtown ... innovative therapies are finding it increasingly more important to generate evidence on the value ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... announced today that it is exhibiting in booth B2 at the Association for ... Pittsburgh, May 22-25. , In addition to demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 20, 2017 , ... CNSDose is a genetically ... error process by finding the right antidepressant faster. CNSDose speeds recovery and ... through a personalized approach to treatment. , A peer-reviewed and published, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: