Resource recovery from desalination, the case of small islands

Mar Palmeros Parada*, Serena Randazzo, Gonzalo Gamboa, Rodoula Ktori, Britte Bouchaut, Andrea Cipolina, Giorgio Micale, Dimitrios Xevgenos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


This work explores resource recovery coupled to seawater desalination in small islands. As small islands depend on seawater desalination for water access, they make an excellent ground for exploring the trade-offs associated to resource recovery, like potential economic gains, energy use, and environmental impacts. Here, we investigated these tensions in the context of Lampedusa, in Italy. We then developed and evaluated scenarios for the recovery of additional water, Mg, and other resources from brines, to identify if and how resource recovery is an interesting approach for the island vis-à-vis these tensions. We have found that the potential to increase water production with water recovery from brine is an interesting alternative for small islands, especially when harnessing waste heat. However, while some technologies offer possibilities for recovering additional resources, in places like small islands the potential benefits from additional recovery do not seem to justify the costs to the local system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107287
Number of pages7
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Circular economy
  • Desalination
  • Resource recovery
  • Responsible innovation
  • Sustainable design


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