Water technology supplier Aquaver has delivered a membrane distillation plant to the small island of Gulhi, the Maldives. The plant was officially commissioned on 19 February in the presence of Maldivian minister Mariyam Shakeela of Environment and Energy (on top photo drinking).

It is the world's first application of membrane distillation technology for desalination of sea water to produce drinking water.

The plant has a capacity of 10,000 liters of drinking water per day and utilizes waste heat of a local power generator.

The commissioning was part of a ceremony by the initiators of the drinking water project to launch their brand 'Aquiva Fushi'. The UK-based charity organisation Aquiva Foundation and state owned Maldivian electricity company Stelco started the project in 2013.

dws-aquaver-mds-maldives-plant-350pxDistillation with low-grade heat
Membrane distillation is a novel breakthrough technology which combines membrane separation and distillation, resulting in pure water production from seawater using low-grade heat.

Aquaver developed the membrane distillation system in collaboration with Philips Innovation Services and the Germany company Memsys that invented and delivered the processing modules.

Drinking water only in containers
The distillate produced by the plant is mineralized using local coral sand for a good Maldivian taste. It is distributed under the brand Aquiva fushi. Fushi stands for the pure island taste created by coral sand in the mineralization process.

The water is only available in reusable containers in order to avoid the pollution of the pristine Maldivian nature through the plastic waste of one-way bottles.

Simple and robust solution
Speaking at the ceremony, minister Dr Shakeela said that "the commencement of the production of water using heat from generators is a great
achievement for the country".

Florian Bollen from the Aquiva Foundation stated: “We believe that this is a good example how water problems can be solved sustainably on a local level even in situations where no fresh water is available."

Edgar Konijnendijk, technical director of Aquaver drinking water program declared: "Being at islands like Gulhi makes you realise the importance of access to clean water. Providing remote communities with clean drinking water requires a simple and robust solution: low maintenance and easy to use. And using the waste heat makes it a sustainable blueprint, unique in its kind, for other remote communities all around the world."

This news item was originally published on the website of Aquiva Foundation.


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