Susanne Posel/Occupy Corporatism
Chemists with the University of Texas and the University of Marburg have devised a method of using a small electrical field that will remove the salt from seawater.
Incredibly this technique requires little more than a store-bought battery.
Called electrochemically mediated seawater desalination (EMSD) this technique has improved upon the current water desalination method.
Richard Cooks, chemistry professor at the University of Austin said : “The availability of water for drinking and crop irrigation is one of the most basic requirements for maintaining and improving human health.”
Cooks continued: “Seawater desalination is one way to address this need, but most current methods for desalinating water rely on expensive and easily contaminated membranes. The membrane-free method we’ve developed still needs to be refined and scaled up, but if we can succeed at that, then one day it might be possible to provide fresh water on a massive scale using a simple, even portable, system.”
Kyle Krust, lead author of the study said: “We’ve made comparable performance improvements while developing other applications based on the formation of an ion depletion zone. That suggests that 99 percent desalination is not beyond our reach.”
This “water chip” method “could bring relief to millions around the globe who lack potable water.”
This method “is much simpler and consumes less energy than other forms of desalination.”
Crooks explained : “To achieve desalination, the researchers apply a small voltage (3.0 volts) to a plastic chip filled with seawater. The chip contains a microchannel with two branches. At the junction of the channel an embedded electrode neutralizes some of the chloride ions in seawater to create an ‘ion depletion zone’ that increases the local electric field compared with the rest of the channel. This change in the electric field is sufficient to redirect salts into one branch, allowing desalinated water to pass through the other branch.”
The Ion depletion zone prevents salt from passing through which creates fresh water out of salt water.