Energy Efficient Process Discovered to Turn Seawater into Freshwater
PDF E-mail
Thursday, 04 July 2013 08:08



Seawater desalination with just a small electrical field?! A new method of creating freshwater from seawater that uses way less energy than other methods, has just been developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Marburg in Germany.

The new method uses no membranes, is considerably simpler than conventional methods and is so low-energy that it can be performed with the energy provided by store-bought batteries. 

The lack of freshwater is expected to become a real problem in many regions of the world, so a cheaper, simpler method of saltwater desalination would be of great use.

The new method/technology is patent-pending and is currently in commercial development by startup company Okeanos Technologies.

“People are dying because of a lack of freshwater,” said Tony Frudakis, founder and CEO of Okeanos Technologies. “And they’ll continue to do so until there is some kind of breakthrough, and that is what we are hoping our technology will represent.”

As of now, the best that the researchers have achieved is 25 percent desalination; drinking water requires 99 percent desalination. The researchers are confident, though, that the 99 percent goal is very achievable.

The process will also need to be scaled up. In order for the technology to be of practical use, a device would have to produce several liters of water per day.

The researchers are confident that this can be achieved, creating “a future in which the technology is deployed at different scales to meet different needs.”

original article