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Desalination Technologies and the Use of Alternative Energies for Desalination - Patent Landscape Report

Desalination Technologies and the Use of Alternative Energies for Desalination - Patent Landscape Report

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Access to clean water is a basic human need, but is also an important driver of social and economic development. One of the ways to improve water availability is through desalination, but most plants currently in operation worldwide use very energy intensive desalination methods. Desalination has therefore traditionally been considered too expensive. However, the use of renewable energies could provide a more affordable alternative, principally in developing and least developed countries.

This patent landscape report on desalination-related patents identified 4551 patent families (including utility models) that claim inventions related to desalination of water, and 921 families describing the combination of desalination technologies with the use of renewable energies. Based on this patent collection various patterns of patenting activity and innovation in the area of desalination are detected, with a separate focus on the use of renewable energies for desalination.
Access to clean water is a basic human need, but is also an important driver of social and economic development. One of the ways to improve water availability is through desalination, but most plants currently in operation worldwide use very energy intensive desalination methods. Desalination has therefore traditionally been considered too expensive. However, the use of renewable energies could provide a more affordable alternative, principally in developing and least developed countries.

This patent landscape report on desalination-related patents identified 4551 patent families (including utility models) that claim inventions related to desalination of water, and 921 families describing the combination of desalination technologies with the use of renewable energies. Based on this patent collection various patterns of patenting activity and innovation in the area of desalination are detected, with a separate focus on the use of renewable energies for desalination.

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01/08/2016

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Figure20 and Figure21 show the trends for geothermal desalination technology patents.
The dataset is the smallest of all of the renewable energy desalination datasets. Given
the small number of observation points, it is difficult to discern any particular trend. The
field has a number of legacy patents from before 1980 and does not show significant
growth in the last three decades. This could be linked to the maturity and level of
adoption of geothermal energy in general.

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ALL
FAMILIES

C02F

F03G

B01D

F01K

F24J

Nr of families from 2006 -2011

Nr of families up to 2006

Nr of patentfamilies

IPC

Description

C02F

TREATMENT OF WATER, WASTE WATER, SEWAGE, OR SLUDGE;

F03G

SPRING, WEIGHT, INERTIA, OR LIKE MOTORS; MECHANICAL-POWER-PRODUCING DEVICES OR MECHANISMS, NOT OTHERWISE
PROVIDED FOR OR USING ENERGY SOURCES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR;

B01D

PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL PROCESSES OR APPARATUS IN GENERAL: SEPERATION

F01K

STEAM ENGINE PLANTS; STEAM ACCUMULATORS; ENGINE PLANTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; ENGINES USING SPECIAL
WORKING FLUIDS OR CYCLES;

F24J

PRODUCTION OR USE OF HEAT NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR;

Figure 20: Desalination–geothermal energy integration – number of patent families
in top 5 IPC codes

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Pre-1980

1980

1981

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2009

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2011

Number of IPC occurances

C02F

F03G

B01D

F01K

Note: Publication of patent applicationscan have up to an 18 month lag from date of submission

IPC

Description

C02F

TREATMENT OF WATER, WASTE WATER, SEWAGE, OR SLUDGE;

F03G

SPRING, WEIGHT, INERTIA, OR LIKE MOTORS; MECHANICAL-POWER-PRODUCING DEVICES OR MECHANISMS, NOT OTHERWISE
PROVIDED FOR OR USING ENERGY SOURCES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR;

B01D

PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL PROCESSES OR APPARATUS IN GENERAL: SEPERATION

F01K

STEAM ENGINE PLANTS; STEAM ACCUMULATORS; ENGINE PLANTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; ENGINES USING SPECIAL
WORKING FLUIDS OR CYCLES;

F24J

PRODUCTION OR USE OF HEAT NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR;

Figure 21: IPC distribution – desalination–geothermal energy integration

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