Solar Powered Desalination System MIT

Solar Powered Desalination System Used To Make Saltwater Into Fresh Water

MIT does it again as they have invented a portable, solar powered desalination system designed to turn saltwater into fresh water. Desalination is the process of removing salt from water to provide a readily available supply of freshwater from oceans or other saline water bodies. Great idea only it’s not conducive to the amount of energy it takes to remove the water….until now.

Desalination meet renewable energy and make us a freshwater baby. MIT has almost completed the conception of the (twinkle in the eye) idea through a pilot that they created. Working with Jain Irrigation Systems, the scholars won a $140,000 Desal Prize and have continued designs using electrodialysis, instead of the traditional reverse osmosis technology used in most industrial-scale desalination plants. The birth of this saltwater transformation is still a ways out from supplying us all with salt-less seawater goodness. According to MIT News, the solar powered desalination system was designed primarily for treating salty groundwater in rural India and it still has a salty taste so the communities are continuing to choose the dirty freshwater over the MIT desalination water….for now. The innovative team says, their method can provide enough fresh drinking water for between 2,000 and 5,000 people while remaining financially viable, and if widely used it could also double the area of India in which groundwater becomes the preferable source over surface water, which is inherently less safe. (The team also suggested that similar-scaled reverse osmosis systems would also be viable in areas where electricity was readily available.)

Are we going to be drinking saltwater anytime soon? Only in an emergency at this point, according to MIT their system could be utilized for disaster relief or for remote applications but the process of desalination still needs to evolve before it could hydrate the masses. Until then, crack a Dasani and wait it out because the “glass is half full” of need for this technology and the perfecting of the process is a high priority.

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Robert Opacki
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