Cheap and simple desalination unit runs from battery

June 28, 2013 2:51 AM

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Cheap and simple desalination unit runs from battery

Using a small electrical field that removes the salts from seawater, German and American scientists have invented a new method for the desalination of seawater that consumes much less energy and is dramatically simpler than conventional desalination techniques. The new technique, known as electrochemically mediated seawater desalination, is described in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

To achieve desalination, the researchers apply a small voltage (3.0 volts) to a plastic chip filled with seawater. The chip contains a microchannel with two branches. At the junction of the channel an embedded electrode neutralizes some of the chloride ions in seawater to create an "ion depletion zo...

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