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Thread: Scientists are turning salt water into drinking water using solar power

  1. #1

    Scientists are turning salt water into drinking water using solar power

    Well this could come in handy in California...

    By inexpensively turning salt water into drinking water using sustainable solar power, a team from MIT in the US has not only come up with a portable desalination system for use anywhere in the world that needs it, but itís just won the 2015 Desal Prize - a competition run by USAID to encourage better solutions to water shortages in developing countries.

    In order to win the $140,000 prize, entries had to demonstrate how their invention not only works well, but is cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, and energy efficient. And the MIT researchers teamed up with US-based manufacturing company, Jain Irrigation Systems, to do just that.

    The teamís invention works by using solar panels to charge a cache of batteries that power an electrodialysis machine that removes salt from the water and makes it perfectly drinkable. David L. Chandler explains for MIT News:

    "Electrodialysis works by passing a stream of water between two electrodes with opposite charges. Because the salt dissolved in water consists of positive and negative ions, the electrodes pull the ions out of the water, Winter says, leaving fresher water at the centre of the flow. A series of membranes separate the freshwater stream from increasingly salty ones."

    Solar-powered desalination plants are nothing new, and officials are investigating potential in water-poor areas such as Chile and California right now, but the technology has so far been extremely expensive to both piece together and run. And this obviously makes it difficult for developing countries to adopt. The key to the MIT plant is the electrodialysis process, says Chandler, talking to one of the team, mechanical engineer Amos Winter:

    "Both electrodialysis and reverse osmosis require the use of membranes, but those in an electrodialysis system are exposed to lower pressures and can be cleared of salt buildup simply by reversing the electrical polarity. That means the expensive membranes should last much longer and require less maintenance, Winter says."

    Chandler reports that the MIT system can turn 90 percent of the salt water that's fed into it into drinking water, which is huge, compared to the 40 to 60 percent from reverse-osmosis systems.

    The team has been testing their system out in several villages across India since 2014, and have been using the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in the US to run 24-hour tests to analyse its efficiency and cost of maintenance. According to Mary Beth Griggs at Popular Science, in just 24 hours, their system can remove the salt from 2,100 gallons (7,950 litres).


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  3. #2
    Now that is good technology.
    Proverbs 29:18
    "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."

    Hosea 4:6
    "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.Ē ~ Charles Dickens

  4. #3
    I can turn out a gallon of water a day with just a plastic drop cloth some moist plant material or even salt water and sunshine.

    I'm surprised they haven't been using solar stills.

  5. #4
    City of Los Angeles uses about 93 gallons per person per day.

    The system could provide water for 22.5 of them. About 750,000 such systems could take care of the city (16 million people).

    (Yes, they can build a bigger system)
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 04-27-2015 at 06:28 PM.

  6. #5
    And the Peoples Republic of California is in a disaster water rationing drought, while being right next to the Pacific Ocean. DUH! <goofy!>

  7. #6
    Again... If CA allowed the price of water to rise to meet the level of supply and demand, then these types of systems would pop up all over the place and you wouldn't need a government to do it.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  8. #7

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