Climate change around the world focuses attention on the reliability of water sources. Desalination plants are an effective way to secure water resources against the effects of climate change and a growing population.
The extraction of seawater to feed a desalination plants’ reverse osmosis (RO) system is always critical with regards to durability of seawater intake screen materials and the minimization of marine growth on the intake screen (biofouling). Durability and marine growth separate or acting together present a great challenge for the long-term successful operation and cost of the RO plant. Screens are the first pre-treatment step of every desalination plant. Depending on screen types and use, they are incorporated into the intake system and are located downstream of the intake and upstream of the RO system.
This paper comprises a comprehensive literature review and summary report on suitability of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys as construction materials for intake screens in marine environments for long-term deployment. Different types of corrosion and fouling mechanisms are discussed for metals in seawater. A comparison of each material based on these mechanisms is also provided.