New Portable Devices Converts Seawater Into Drinking Water Using Electricity

Jul, 2022 - By WMR

New Portable Devices Converts Seawater Into Drinking Water Using Electricity

Scientists developed a new portable device for desalination that creates clean, clear drinking water without using filters or high-pressure pumps

Having a portable desalination device for seawater would solve huge water crisis in rural regions and disaster situation. Now a team of scientists at MIT developed a new portable setup that requires only small amount of electricity to convert seawater into clean, clear drinking water without requiring high-pressure pumps or filters.

As reported by the team, the current form of this device is almost the size of a suitcase and to operate it needs electric power less than a phone charger. This device can be powered using a solar panel in situations where batteries are not available. The scientists developed a technique called ion concentration polarization (ICP). In this technique, seawater is pumped through a small channel between two electrically charged membranes where one is positively while other is negatively charged. When water is passed through the electrical field in these two membranes, particles such as viruses, bacteria and salt molecules get repelled into a side water channel that is discharged and not used. The main water channels gets purified and desalinated, however, some salt ions could still be present in it.

To remove these salt ions, the water goes through a module of electrodialysis where all the remaining salt ion is removed. The water that comes out of output hose of the device surpasses drinking water standards of the World Health Authority. The current version of this device can generate 10 fl oz (300 ml) of drinking water per hour and requires power hours of 20 watt per liter. The team is reportedly working to increase the rate of its output. The scientists describe the system to be complex as it consists a two stage process to get drinking water from seawater.

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