Identification and Analytical Hierarchy of Effective Criteria in Optimal Location of Humidification-Dehumidification Desalination Plants

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc. Student, Dept. of Industrial Engineering, Shahid Nikbakht Engineering College, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran

2 Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Industrial Engineering, Shahid Nikbakht Engineering College, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran

3 Assist. Prof., Dept. of Mechanic Engineering, Shahid Nikbakht Engineering College, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran


In recent years, water stress has become a global crisis due to climate and demographic changes and lifestyle changes. Freshwater production from the sea using various processes is known as the most important solution to deal with this crisis. Among these processes, the humidification-dehumidification process has been considered by the scientific community as a flexible and low-cost method. In addition, the optimal choice of construction sites for factories and even small water desalination units has a significant impact on increasing productivity and optimizing their construction and operation costs. In this study, using Delphi method, effective factors in locating humidification-dehumidification were identified. Then, using the Analytical Hierarchy Process, two decision support systems, one based on criteria and sub-criteria and the other by combining all sub-criteria, are proposed to locate this group of desalination plants. The results show that the factors of inlet air temperature (ambient temperature), incoming water temperature and relative humidity of the air from the technical criteria, with an effective weight of 0.186, 0.126 and 0.09, respectively, are the most important factors in locating this group of desalination plants. In the following, the factors of access to technical and engineering services and the amount of water reserves of the executive criteria, with a weight of 0.076 and 0.064, have been assigned the fourth and sixth ranks. Fresh water sales tariff, construction fee and cost of wastewater and waste disposal from economic criteria with the effectiveness of 0.069, 0.061 and 0.06, respectively, are in the fifth, seventh and eighth positions. Also, the annual average factor of solar energy from environmental criteria is in the ninth place with 0.054 points. These factors are the most effective factors in locating humidifiers-dehumidifiers.


Al-Hallaj, S. & Selman, J. 2002. A comprehensive study of solar desalination with a humidification-dehumidification cycle. Middle East Desalination Research Center Report. UK. 98-BS.
Alsaif, A. A., Elzayed, M. S., Ahmed, M., Antar, M. & Zubair, S. M. 2021. A robust definition of energy effectiveness for humidification dehumidification desalination systems. Energy Conversion and Management, 238, 114058.
Asgharizade, E. & Mohammadi Balai, A. K. 2017. Multi-Characteristic Decision-Making Techniques, University of Tehran Press. Tehran, Iran. (In Persian)
Badi, I., Ballem, M. & Shetwan, A. 2018. Site selection of desalination plant in Libya by using Combinative Distance-based Assessment (CODAS) method. International Journal for Quality Research, 12, 609.
Dweiri, F., Khan, S. A. & Almulla, A. 2018. A multi-criteria decision support system to rank sustainable desalination plant location criteria. Desalination, 444, 26-34.
Farsad, S., Behzadmehr, A. & Okati, W. 2018. Solar Desalination Plants, Avaye Ghalam, Tehran, Iran.
(In Persian)
Fath, H. E. & Ghazy, A. 2002. Solar desalination using humidification-dehumidification technology. Desalination, 142, 119-133.
Ghasemi, A., Javid, A. H. & Rahmati, S. H. 2021. Proper selection of location and shape for protective structure of intake system of coastal desalination plant using numerical modeling based on hydrodynamics and quality criteria (a case study: Qeshm Island). Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 14, 1-19.
Ghodsipour, S. H. 2013. Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), Amirkabir University of Technology Press. Tehran, Iran. (In Persian)
Habibi, A., Sarafrazi, A. & Izadyar, S. 2014. Delphi technique theoretical framework in qualitative research. The International Journal of Engineering and Science, 3, 8-13. (In Persian)
Hou, S. 2008. Two-stage solar multi-effect humidification dehumidification desalination process plotted from pinch analysis. Desalination, 222, 572-578.
Jorm, A. F. 2015. Using the Delphi expert consensus method in mental health research. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49, 887-897.
Kabaranzad-Ghadim, M. R. & Rofoogar-Astaneh, H. 2009. Designing a decision support system (DSS) schema with applying genetic algorithm for survey of resource leveling problem-(Vehicles). Journal of Information Technology Management, 1(3), 69-88. (In Persian)
Kuhn, M. 2002. Introduction to decision support software. Adelphi Research gGmbH, 14aD–14193 Berlin, 22.
Lee, W. W., Bae, S. J., Jung, Y. H., Yoon, H. J., Jeong, Y. H. & Lee, J. I. 2017. Improving power and desalination capabilities of a large nuclear power plant with supercritical CO2 power technology. Desalination, 409, 136-145.
Lopez, A. M., Williams, M., Paiva, M., Demydov, D., Do, T. D., Fairey, J. L., et al. 2017. Potential of electrodialytic techniques in brackish desalination and recovery of industrial process water for reuse. Desalination, 409, 108-114.
Mashaiekhi, A., Farhangi, A., Momeni, M. & Alidoosti, S. 2005. Investigating the key factors affecting the application of information technology in Iranian government organizations: application of Delphi technique. Quarterly Journal of Sciences Modares Human, Special Issue of Management, 9(3), 191-232. (In Persian)
Mohamed, S. A. 2020. Application of geo-spatial analytical hierarchy process and multi-criteria analysis for site suitability of the desalination solar stations in Egypt. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 164, 103767.
Mohammadi, M. & Sobhani, B. 2021. Application of Fuzzy-AHP and remote sensing in localizing water extraction from air humidity using condensing system. Water and Irrigation Management, 11, 113-130.
(In Persian)
Nabavi Fard, S. M. & Hamzehpour, M. 2019. DEMATEL (Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory), Tehran National Defense University, Tehran, Iran. (In Persian)
Najafi, M., Edalatkhah, D. & Haji Babaeian, M. 2019. Location of water storage tanks by hierarchical analysis method Study sample: region 1 of Tehran municipality. Shebak Journal, 5, 7-19. (In Persian)
Rahimi-Ahar, Z., Hatamipour, M. S. & Ahar, L. R. 2020. Air humidification-dehumidification process for desalination: a review. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 80, 100850.
Rahmani, A., Vaziri Nezhad, R., Ahmadi Nia, H. & Rezaeian, M. 2020. Methodological principles and applications of the Delphi method: a narrative review. Journal of Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, 19(5), 515-538. (In Persian)
Razdari, V. M. & Fanaee, S. A. 2021. Comprehensive review of different types of water desalination. Journal of Renewable and New Energy, 8(1), 21-32. (In Persian)
Saaty, T. L. 1977. A scaling method for priorities in hierarchical structures. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 15, 234-281.
Sanver, A. & May, S. 2010. The Desalination Processes Site Selection, Layout and Civil Works. Encyclopedia of desalination and water resources, Eolss Pub., Paris, France.
Schmidt, R. C. 1997. Managing Delphi surveys using nonparametric statistical techniques. Decision Sciences, 28, 763-774.
Scott Morton, M. S. 1970. Program Management and Interactive Management Decision Systems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Pub., Massachusetts, USA.
Sepehr, M., Fatemi, S., Danehkar, A. & Moradi, A. M. 2017. Application of Delphi method in site selection of desalination plants. Global Journal of Environmental Science and Management, 3, 89-102.
Tsiourtis, N. X. 2008. Criteria and procedure for selecting a site for a desalination plant. Desalination, 221, 114-125.
Turban, E., Aronson, J. E. & Liang, T. P. 2005. Decision Support System and Intelegent System. Yogyakarta Pub., Indonesia.
Vishnupriyan, J., Arumugam, D., Kumar, N. M., Chopra, S. S. & Partheeban, P. 2021. Multi-criteria decision analysis for optimal planning of desalination plant feasibility in different urban cities in India. Journal of Cleaner Production, 315, 128146.
World Bank, 2019. The Role of Desalination in an Increasingly Water-Scarce World, Washington, DC, USA.