The MSF: Enough is enough

M. A. Darwish, Fatimah M. Al Awadhi, Mahmoud Y. Abdul Raheem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


The energy consumed by the predominantly used multi stage flash (MSF) desalting system in Kuwait and other Gulf Co-operation Countries GCC are discussed in detail. The MSF consumed energy in the range of 5–6 times that of the latest preferred seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalting system. The gravity of the consumed high energy of MSF is felt by the $2185M estimated cost of energy used for the year 2008 to produce 550 Mm3 of water distillate in Kuwait. This cost was compared with that off the SWRO, if used, and estimated to be $261M. The suggestion of increasing MSF performance by nano-filtration (NF) pretreatment is also discussed. This can remove some of the scale-forming constituents from feed water, which allows raising the top brine temperature (TBT) and the fl ashing range and thus the capacity. While the capacity increase is badly needed in Kuwait, the high energy cost heavily overweighs the benefits of the MSF capacity increase by using NF. The MSF drains these countries energy resources. Building new MSF units should be stopped.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-203
Number of pages11
JournalDesalination and Water Treatment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010



  • Energy consumption
  • Energy cost
  • MSF
  • Nano-fi ltration
  • SWRO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Pollution

Cite this

Darwish, M. A., Al Awadhi, F. M., & Abdul Raheem, M. Y. (2010). The MSF: Enough is enough. Desalination and Water Treatment, 22(1-3), 193-203.