Freeze Desalination: Experimental Assessment of Salinity Gradient

  • Khawlah Saeed Alabdouli

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Freeze desalination is a promising nonconventional method with the advantage of enduring less corrosion, operating at a high brine concentration, and low energy consumption when it is combined with another desalination method as a hybrid system. Experimental study of salinity gradient in the ice is still lacking, and limited literature addresses the salinity gradient during crystallization. Here, bottom-up directional freezing experiments are conducted to obtain the salinity gradient of the frozen brine under different freezing temperatures and salinity conditions. The salinity gradient is measured under small thickness and high resolution through the entire volume for a specific condition. Therefore, this experiment is distinctive since it gives the salinity measurement for each frozen layer instead of the overall frozen volume, and this gives the salinity gradient during freezing. Results obtained demonstrate there is an optimal freezing condition that enables high salinity diffusion from the freezing front to migrate/travel and leaving the lowest possible salinity level behind. These analyses are necessary to provide the engineer with an understanding of the salt migration and its influence by the freezing conditions, such as freezing temperature and salt concentration in the brine. In addition, the salinity gradient data are necessary and needed for further model validation and simulation in freeze desalination.
Date of AwardMay 2021
Original languageAmerican English


  • Freeze desalination
  • directional freezing
  • crystallization level
  • salinity
  • removal efficiency.

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