Engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a new desalination process, which makes use of battery technology rather than reverse osmosis.
As a result of climate change, this process is rather important. It could easily be adapted to clean brackish water, as well as desalinate seawater for human consumption.
The research shows that technology used in sodium-ion batteries may efficiently desalinate seawater. Their theory states that by using electrodes that contain sodium and chloride ions, salt is drawn out and held in a chamber separate from the purified water.
This new process is more environmentally friendly than the usual method, but it is still some way from being introduced on a larger scale.
Namibia has been using the desalination process to great effect along its coastal region, but Cape Town’s first plant only opened recently. When it’s running at full capacity, it should be able to produce 500 million litres of desalinated water per day.