Home Technology Researchers turns salt water into drinking water with solar enegy

Researchers turns salt water into drinking water with solar enegy

MIT researchers team in the US turns salt water into useful drinking water using solar power. They come up with a portable desalination system that can be use throughout the world that needs it, but it’s just won the competition named as 2015 Desal Prize run by USAID to encourage better solutions to water shortages in developing countries.
To win the prize amount of $140,000, entries had to present how their invention not only works well, but is cost-effective, environment friendly, and energy efficient. And finally MIT researchers jointly with US-based manufacturing company, Jain Irrigation Systems did this.
Their invention depends on solar panels to charge a cache of batteries
that power an electrodialysis machine that removes salt from the water
and makes it perfectly drinkable.  
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.”

“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.

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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).
“A solution with the potential to double recoverable water in an
environment where water is becoming more precious by the day could have a
huge impact,” environmental and civil engineer Susan Amrose from the
University of California at Berkeley, told MIT News.

Source: MIT News