According to a statement from MIT researchers, a portable desalination system can remove particles and salts to produce drinking water that meets World Health Organization quality standards with just a single button.
The new device requires no filters or pumps, weighs less than 10 kilograms, requires less power to operate than a cell phone charger, can be driven by a small portable solar panel, works with the push of a button, and costs a mere $50.
Remove particles from water without replacement filters
I and my group have completed a 10-year journey on which we worked for years on the physics behind individual desalination processes, but putting all of those advances into a box, constructing a system, and demonstring it in the ocean, according to senior author Jongyoon Han, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and biological engineering.
The device employs a novel technology that removes harmful chemicals from the drinking water, eliminating the need for replacement filters. This reduces the long-term maintenance requirements of the unit, making it ideal for use in remote and resource-limited areas. Additional uses for the device include assisting refugees in escapeing natural disasters or assisting soldiers in conducting long-term military operations.
How well does the desalination device work? At Bostons Carson Beach, researchers simply placed the box near the shore and tossed the feed tube into the water. It took a mere half an hour to fill a plastic drinking cup with clear, drinkable water that exceeded World Health Organization quality guidelines.
Even in its first run, it was very successful, which was quite exciting and surprising. But I think the main reason we were successful is the accumulation of all of the little advances we made along the way.
The researchers provided the following statistics for their unit: Reduce the number of suspended solids by at least one factor of 10, generates drinking water at a rate of 0.3 liters per hour, and requires only 20 watts of power per liter.
A device that anyone can use
Han said that the best thing about their device is that it is intuitive enough to be utilized by anyone, as it only requires is the push of a button. However, the researcher stressed that additional work is still needed to be done to ensure the product is market-ready.
For the time being, the materials used to produce the unit are quite expensive. It''s very interesting to see similar systems with low-cost materials in place," said Nidal Hilal, the professor of engineering and director of the New York University Water research center. This research was not related to the research.
We are now putting our work to the test, according to Junghyo Yoon, a research scientist at RLE.
The product is available online for $50. Would you like to buy it?