In recent years growing attention has been paid to the problem of brine disposal due to the raising awareness of significant environmental issues related to the use of desalination processes for fresh water production. This is particularly relevant when desalination units are located in remote sites, characterised by major complexity in the construction and management of intake and outfall structures. In the present work a novel device, named brine evaporative cooler/concentrator (BECC, patent pending), has been developed for coupling with small-scale thermal desalination plants in order to reduce the problem of brine disposal. Such device fulfils two different functions: i) cooling of the recirculating brine (which is often mixed with cold seawater to feed the unit, acting first as a cooling medium for the condensation of the vapour) and ii) concentration of the brine to de disposed. The BECC device is based on the principle of evaporative cooling, i.e. a primary liquid stream is cooled by means of a sec...

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