PRIN 2022 / Bortolin


Acronimo: WADERE
Titolo: Development of thermally-driven sorption process for WAtER DEsAlinAtion using low-grade REnEWAblE EnERgy
Responsabile scientifico: prof. Stefano BORTOLIN - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale-Università degli Studi di PADOVA
Coordinatore: dott. Andrea FRAZZICA - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Partner-Unità di ricerca: Politecnico di Torino, Università degli Studi di PADOVA, Università degli Studi di TRIESTE
Bando: PRIN 2022 - Decreto Direttoriale n. 104 del 02-02-2022
Durata: 28/09/2023 - 27/09/2025 (24 mesi)
Budget totale progetto: € 228.497,00

Abstract del progetto

The demand of fresh water is constantly growing worldwide. So far, this need is satisfied through high exergy-inputs, driven by electricity or high-temperature source. The development of innovative low-exergy solutions is then urgent. By a holistic approach, the WADERE project intends to develop and pre-validate at lab-scale (TRL3) a thermally-driven sorption process to provide desalinated water using low-grade heat sources (< 60 °C). The consortium consists of 4 research units: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) with two units ITAE and ITC, Politecnico Torino (POLITO), Università degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD) and Università degli Studi di Trieste (UNITS), providing their complementary competences to improve the overall performance of the technology. POLITO and CNR-ITAE focus on recognizing the best sorbent material and reactor configuration. POLITO will develop a model-driven tool for sorbent materials selection and development, based on machine learning and atomistic simulations. ITAE will exploit the numerical analyses to synthesize composite sorbents, with tailored properties, maximizing the water production and will optimize the reactor design through numerical/experimental activities, to define the most promising configuration, also considering its long-term stability. UNIPD will focus on the development of the condenser, being the other critical component of the technology. Innovative coatings will be made to achieve dropwise condensation. Furthermore, the filmwise condensation will be also investigated under same experimental conditions. This activity will be supported by UNITS, developing an innovative meshless simulation approach, to better define the phase-change occurring during condensation, thus supporting the component’ design. CNR-ITC will focus on the heat transfer efficiency on the secondary fluid-side. It will examine novel hybrid nanofluids, to guarantee high heat transfer rate inside the components. The nanofluids will be characterized from the thermophysical point of view and the heat transfer performance analyzed under lab-scale conditions. Eventually, the most innovative materials and small-scale components will be tested at the Clean Water Center of POLITO, where a flexible test rig is designed for testing this kind of technology. Furthermore, CNR ITAE, with the support of all the partners, will setup a numerical modelling platform to simulate the achievable performance, based on the small-scale development activities, paving the way for the definition of future upscaling of the technology and identifying possible techno-economic optimization routes to accelerate its future marketability.