Economic Evaluation of RO and MEH Desalination Units in Iranian South-Eastern Villages

Document Type: Research Article


1 Graduate Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Sirjan University of Technology, Kerman, Iran


The primary objective of desalination research is the development of a way to produce fresh water at lower cost. The present study investigated two freshwater production methods of Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Multi-Effect Humidification (MEH) (artificial distillation), and analyzed them from an economic standpoint, and subsequently pointed out the important and effective factors in decreasing saltwater desalination expenditure for each one of the mentioned units. Different aspects of these units were investigated as well. However, all the prices are assumed with the current condition and expenses in Sistan Baluchestan province, Iran. The results from economic analyses, obtained employing COMFAR III, showed that, in regions where locals have access to local grid, application of RO unit has no economic justification, while MEH units, powered by solar energy, are more economic in remote regions receiving adequate solar irradiation. However, the water produced by RO can be purchased at 0.02 $/lit, and by solar MEH unit (Respect to introduced characterization), at 0.032 $/lit. Although, the sensitive analysis of IRRs’ variation in proportion to three factors namely sales income, fixed capital expenditure and operational expenditure were conducted. 


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