Access to clean water is a basic human need, but is also an important driver of social development (e.g. as used in hospitals) and economic development (e.g. industrial processes need access to clean water). Access to clean water is particularly limited in developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs), but is also increasingly an important issue in middle-income and developed economies. One of the ways to improve water availability is through desalination, but most plants currently in operation worldwide use very energy intensive desalination methods. Desalination has therefore traditionally been considered too expensive. However, the use of renewable energies could provide a more affordable alternative, principally in developing and least developed countries.
This patent landscape report on desalination-related patents identified 4551 patent families (including utility models) that claim inventions related to desalination of water, and 921 families describing the combination of desalination technologies with the use of renewable energies. Based on this patent collection various patterns of patenting activity and innovation in the area of desalination are detected, with a separate focus on the use of renewable energies for desalination.
A comprehensive explanation of the search methodology and history (including all search queries), and of the evaluation of the search results is included and illustrates how patent information can be retrieved and exploited in the area of desalination.
The searchable and sortable patent database includes all 921 patent families, relevant bibliographic data and some added information, e.g. which type of renewable energy sis included. Each family is linked to the Espacenet database of the European Patent Office which enables verification of the INPADOC family information and related legal status of family members, where available. The database is complemented by a visualization of various statistical analyses of the collection of 921 patent families
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