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NIOT explores new desalination technologies


National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) developed world’s first low temperature thermal desalination plant.

Product or concept

Established Low Temperature Thermal Desalination process as a low maintenance alternative to current desalination technology.

Problem being solved

Addresses drinking water problems in India’s Ocean island territories and even offshore urban centres along the coastline.

Process or technology involved

  • Low temperature thermal desalination (LTTD) uses the availability of a temperature gradient between two water bodies or flows.
  • Evaporate the warmer seawater (Surface seawater) at low pressures and condense the resultant vapour with the colder seawater to obtain fresh water. 

Sustainability benefits

Indigenous technology with low operational and maintenance issues and with long-term sustainability. 

User segments that will benefit

  • Island Communities
  • Offshore Urban Communities

People or organizations involved

M.A Atmanand, Director, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT)

Innovations or USPs

  • Eco-friendly technology - Does not require pre-treatment or post-treatment of seawater, and has only a few units, compared to reverse osmosis.
  • LTTD process enables to control the quality of product water in order to provide potable drinking water.

Related engineering, science or business topics

  • Oceanography
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Thermodynamics
  • Solar Technology

Other interesting highlights

LTTD technology was demonstrated using waste heat generated from the North Chennai Power Plant to produce fresh water. 

Institution is located at:



How Seawater Desalination Works

Seawater Desalination Process

NIOT: LTTD Desalination plants in Lakshadweep Islands

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Make a visit to get a first-hand experience

Atmanand M A : M A Atmanand currently serves as the Director of National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai.

Involve yourself/participate in activities

Purchase the product/solution

Connect with experts

Chennai Power and Desalination Training Institute : The Institution offers several training courses related to seawater desalination. For more information, you can contact them through their website.

Dr. Mani A : He serves as a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department of IIT-Madras. He is also part of the Institution's Refrigeration & Air-conditioning Laboratory.

Shanmuga Nathan J : He is a desalination specialist with 10+ years experience in sea water reverse osmosis desalination plants (concept to commissioning).

Experiment through do-it-yourself projects

DIY: Emergency Desalination still (salt water purification) : The video describes how to build a simple desalination plant using materials available at home.

DIY Salt-Water Survival Bottle (Compact Desalination Kit) : The video describes how one can make a compact desalination kit.

DIY Desalination : The article lists different types of desalination kits one can build depending on type of energy source.

Learn more

Building a Desalination Plant from Scratch: Crash Course Engineering : The video explores the different steps required to engineer a seawater desalination plant.

Can Sea Water Desalination Save The World? : The video by CNBC explores whether seawater desalination will be able to solve the current drinking water challenge.

How Israel became a leader in water use in the Middle East : The video explores how Israel, a water deficit region, became water surplus through combined efforts of desalination, conservation and reuse.