Solar-powered desalination could boost drinking water supply

By on September 30, 2014

Image courtesy Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Areas with undrinkable salty groundwater, like the majority of India, have a new option to create potable water.

Salty groundwater is often made drinkable through reverse osmosis desalination plants dependent on electricity. However, a study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers shows electrodialysis is a more viable option for areas off the grid, according to a recent release from the school.

Electrodialysis, powered by solar energy, separates salty water from fresh water by using opposing charged electrodes. The process provides better results than reverse osmosis, but uses a fraction of the energy. The scientists plan to implement a working prototype in India in January and hope to see the technology applied in other water scarce situations.

Image courtesy Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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