# I Most efficient temperature to evaporate water?

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1. Mar 23, 2017

### mcharbs55

Hello,

I have a question for you guys and gals. I am working on a Desalination project and am ironing out questions about efficiency. What would be the most efficient temperature to evaporate water? 50, 100, 110 degrees? Does it make a difference, or is the energy required to evaporate a fixed amount of water a constant? Also, does it matter which method is used in terms of efficiency (induction, resistance, etc.). If possible could you please point me in the direction of any good sources on this subject.

Thanks for any help.

2. Mar 23, 2017

### rumborak

Isn't the rather obvious answer here, the hotter the better? I mean, people boil water to create steam after all.

3. Mar 23, 2017

### mcharbs55

Sorry, I should have been more specific. I meant in terms of energy efficiency.

4. Mar 23, 2017

### rumborak

It's really a question of how exactly you pose the energy question. I mean, if you have water and just leave it at whatever temperature it already is, you will expend no energy, but there will always be a certain amount of evaporation. So, when posed that way, you already have perfect efficiency and there's no way to improve.

5. Mar 23, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

In terms of energy efficiency, ambient temperature is the most efficient because it requires no artificial heat input.

6. Mar 23, 2017

### mcharbs55

Okay thank you, I know it sounds like a stupid question. I guess what i'm really asking is; as temperature of water increases as well as the energy consumption, does the evaporation rate increase linearly? If it is not linear then I want to find "the sweet spot" (not taking all day to evaporate but not using crazy amounts of energy) to evaporate the water.

Thanks again for any help.

7. Mar 23, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

It's probably best to insulate the container and boil the water, that way you can be sure you aren't losing any heat in any other way but to the boiling. When you evaporate, you rely on cool, dry air pulling away the moisture, which also pulls away heat.

8. Mar 23, 2017

### rumborak

There will essentially be no other way than to do testing, since it depends on so many factors. For example, while physical formula do exist for vapor pressure in equilibrium, your scenario is decisively not in equilibrium, since the point of desalination is to transport away the vapor to a different place where it can then recondensate. So, you actively ty to stay away from equilibrium (since that would mean no more vapor production) and thus it now heavily depends on how fast you are transporting the vapor away.
Not only that, the remaining water will slowly increase in salinity, which will influence things. How fast it increases then becomes a question how much total water there is. Et cetera, et cetera.

9. Mar 24, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

Are you reducing the pressure so that it boils (rapidly vaporizes) at a lower temperature?

10. Mar 24, 2017

### John Park

The vapour-pressure of water increases much more than linearly with in creasing temperature. But vapour pressure isn't the only factor that determines the evaporation rate. In general air flowing over a water surface (or bubbled through water) will cause faster evaporation than still air (the basis of how clothes driers work). There may be a "sweet spot" in terms of dividing your input energy between heaters and fans or air pumps--but you'd probably have to find it for your own set-up.

11. Mar 24, 2017

### DrStupid

It is almost constant. Maybe there is a potential for minor optimizations but it is negligible compared to other factors like energy recycling with a heat exchanger.

12. Mar 24, 2017

### OmCheeto

It is not a stupid question.
One of our mentor-emeriti asked a very similar question a while back, and I don't think he's stupid.

Here is one thing I found out:

Of course, your problem is a bit different, so there may be different techniques to consider.

Off the top of my head, I would look into aeration. as it would lead to a larger surface area.

Just a thought. I have no idea if it's stupid or not.

[edit: but as @stevendaryl said, if this idea makes you a millionaire, you'd better share........ ]

13. Mar 24, 2017

### John Park

It might help if you told us a bit more about your set-up. What sort of quantities of water, in what sort of vessels? (Other things being equal, water evaporates faster from a shallow open pool than from a deep tank.) What are your heat sources?

14. Mar 24, 2017

### rumborak

Based on this thread I read the Wikipedia article on the subject. Very cool, I had no idea that desalination by freezing is actually a thing.

15. Apr 21, 2017

### mcharbs55

I agree, there are just too many variables as you have stated. Thank you for your input and assistance!

16. Apr 21, 2017

### mcharbs55

No, I had not even thought of that but it is definitely something I need to look into.

17. Apr 21, 2017

### mcharbs55

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it! I am going to look into aeration!

18. Apr 21, 2017

### mcharbs55

I am still in the design phase so I have not decided things like basin size! I am currently looking at using something around a 1000W electric element powered by a solar array. Still waiting on details of solar specifications before I chose the element I wan to use.

19. Apr 21, 2017

### mcharbs55

Okay thank you, multiple sources have learned toward this.

20. Apr 22, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

Modern commercial desal plants use reverse osmosis with membranes, they don't evaporate and condense. I don't know how well they scale down.