Instead of using a series of filters to decontaminate water, the machine draws on a technique called ion concentration polarization (ICP) that uses electricity to filter out salt molecules, viruses, and bacteria.
Another technique, called electrodialysis, helps to keep any remaining salt that might have weakened during the ICP stage.
It works on both dissolved and suspended solids, and without filters to replace, long-term maintenance requirements are greatly reduced.
In simulated real-world testing at Boston''s Carson Beach, the invention was able to fill a plastic cup with drinkable water in less than an hour.
"We are continuing to be focusing on increasing the production rate," Junghyo Yoon, the first author of a research paper published in Environmental Science and Technology. Yoon and senior author Jongyoon Han also want the device to be more user-friendly and improve its efficiency. The current iteration requires about 20 watts of power to produce 33.8 fluid ounces of drinking water.
After natural disasters, the device will be used by the military in resource-limited areas.
engin akyurt, image credit.