Techno-economic analysis of MED and RO desalination powered by low-enthalpy geothermal energy

Savvina Loutatidou, Hassan A. Arafat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Utilizing low enthalpy geothermal resources in various applications, including desalination, has triggered continuously growing interest in the past decade. This work offers a preliminary techno-economic evaluation of coupling a low-enthalpy geothermal resource, commonly found in regions such as the Arabian Gulf countries, and a suitable desalination technology. The desalination processes chosen, multiple effect distillation (MED) and reverse osmosis (RO), were designed as integrated energy-water systems and were compared and assessed in terms of their levelized cost of water produced. It was found that geothermal RO could potentially be a more cost-effective option for seawater geothermal desalination in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, based on our model results. A number of parameters, which can potentially alter the results of the analysis, were chosen to investigate their effect on the LCOW of the proposed schemes. These parameters include feed water quality, operational lifetimes of both the geothermal and desalination systems, quality of the geothermal resource, cost of well-drilling and finally, reinjection temperature of the utilized geofluid. By varying their values, the robustness of our initial model results was assessed.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)277-292
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2015


  • Cost
  • Geothermal energy
  • Low enthalpy
  • Modeling
  • Multi-effect distillation
  • Reverse osmosis


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