Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Water Treatment Techology

In WaterOnline, one of the newsletters I receive, there was a synopsis of an article published in Nature Nanotechnology on March 21, 2010 entitled "Direct seawater desalination by ion concentration polarization" by Sung Jae Kim, Sung Hee Ko, Kwan Hyoung Kang & Jongyoon Han.

In the Water Online Article, it describes "A new approach to desalination being developed by researchers at MIT and in Korea could lead to small, portable desalination units that could be powered by solar cells or batteries and could deliver enough fresh water to supply the needs of a family or small village. As an added bonus, the system would also remove many contaminants, viruses and bacteria at the same time."

In the actual abstract of article in Nature Nantechnology, it states "A shortage of fresh water is one of the acute challenges facing the world today. An energy-efficient approach to converting sea water into fresh water could be of substantial benefit, but current desalination methods require high power consumption and operating costs or large-scale infrastructures, which make them difficult to implement in resource-limited settings or in disaster scenarios... Rather than competing with larger desalination plants, the method could be used to make small- or medium-scale systems, with the possibility of battery-powered operation."

In the "Next Big Future Blog", there are some excellent drawings extracted from the journal depicting how the process works.

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