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- Breakthrough solar-powered system unveils cheaper desalination process
- Potential to produce freshwater at costs lower than tap water
- System inspired by natural ocean circulation, powered by sunlight
Cheaper than tap water
MIT engineers, in collaboration with peers in China, have unveiled a solar-powered desalination device, marking a significant stride towards addressing global freshwater scarcity.
The system outperforms current passive solar desalination models, boasting higher water-production and salt-rejection rates. When scaled to the size of a small suitcase, it's projected to produce between 4 to 6 liters of drinking water per hour, surpassing the affordability of tap water.
Harnessing solar power
Mimicking the ocean's "thermohaline" circulation, the device employs sunlight to heat and evaporate seawater, leaving behind salt.
The resulting vapor is condensed into pure water, with the salt continuously circulated out of the system to prevent clogging—a prevalent issue in existing models.
This innovation hints at a sustainable water economy, where even off-grid coastal communities can access affordable freshwater. The potential impact on global water security, particularly in arid regions, is optimistic yet grounded, showcasing a tangible solution to a pressing global issue.
News tips: Odd Bolin