Some desalination systems use a lot of electricity. This can increase the cost of water and the carbon footprint which results in environmental damage. Concentrated salt from desalination can also cause environmental damage. GELF approached desalination to achieve a zero environmental impact solution. This system generates its own electricity to distill water and then degrades the brine by transforming it into electricity. There are two components of the system. the distillation and brine degradation. The brine degradation system operates independently from the distillation process and can been designed to retrofit existing desalination systems. By using this system, the ocean is protected from acidification because there is no carbon footprint. It also protects the ocean from concentrated salts accumulating over time which could result in dead zones. Many Desalination projects are planned and some are in process along the California Coast. This innovative "Zero Energy / Zero Discharge" desalination system will protect our oceans for future generations while lowering the cost of desalinated water.
Many of us don't realize that there are places along California's coastline that discharge brine from inland locations into the ocean. This pipeline is called the “brine line.”. The Santa Ana Watershed is lucky enough to have groundwater – basically a giant aquifer or underground lake that supplies us all with some of our water. Unfortunately, some of this water is unusually salty, and in order for us to drink it, we have to take the salt out. That means that we also have to protect it from getting more salty. The brine line carries salty water out to the sea, which allows large industrial businesses to operate in the area. A lot of businesses use a great deal of water, and since they use so much, they can’t get rid of it freely without endangering our groundwater with more salt. There is a surprising array of “salty” businesses, including power plants, computer chip manufacturers, hospitals, commercial laundry facilities, and even research, biotech, and food processing facilities. The “brine line” is what makes the jobs in those businesses possible, now and in the future. GELF realizes that all this salt entering the ocean can be converted into renewable energy (electricity). The idea is to degrade the brine by transforming it into energy. The Brine Power Generator holds promise to generate significant amounts of renewable energy while degrading brine.
Sewage treatment goes through a process that removes solid waste from water. The water is treated in digesters and effluent is discharged a couple miles out to sea in an outfall pipeline. The sludge is usually trucked to offsite locations in more remote areas where it can be treated and used for compost or mined for minerals. Large cities like Los Angeles spend millions of dollars every year to truck waste to disposal areas where it is treated and used as fertilizer. Sewage is made up of complex chemicals including medicines, drugs or other chemicals that may not be completely removed by current treatment methods and could end up in the ocean. These are concerning environmentalists and scientists because these chemicals may damage or change ecosystems in the ocean over time. GELF proposes solutions that can remove these contaminants of concern from wastewater during the treatment process before the effluent enters the ocean. Gelf's solution for solid waste transforms sewage sludge into pure water and renewable energy.
Water, in urban areas accumulates in storm water channels and creeks. Anything and everything that is on the streets, sidewalks ends up in the channels and runs into the ocean. Sometimes the runoff is so dirty that it breeds pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Keeping urban runoff pathogens out of beach ponds has presented a major challenge. GELF has solutions that safely remove pathogens from beach ponds without using chemicals. Protecting beach water from urban runoff pathogens is a key to keeping the water at our beaches clean.