A new technology, “pervaporation,” a technique to convert seawater into drinkable water, has been discovered by a team of researchers, at Alexandria University in Egypt, reported sciencealert.com.
“This new technique is both cost effective and is efficient, especially comparatively to other methods such as reverse osmosis,” added the source.
“The technology implemented in the study is much better than reverse osmosis, the technology currently used in Egypt and most of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa,” commented Helmy El-Zanfaly, as reported by www.scidev.net. “It can effectively desalinate water with high concentration of salt like that of the red sea, where desalination costs more and yields less, ” added Helmy El-Zanfaly,a professor of water contamination at Egypt’s National Research Center.
The way pervaporation works is that synthetic membranes filter out most of the salt and impurities and then the water is heated and vaporized to get rid of extra waste and then is condensed into water.
According to desalination.biz , Ahmed El-Shafei, an associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering in Alexandria University, and an author of the study on the system has stated, “The membrane we fabricated can be made in any laboratory using cheap ingredients, which makes it an excellent option for developing countries.” This technology does not require electricity which is also a plus since it does not cost continuous amounts of money, added the source.
Unfortunately, the technology is not finalized and many problems such as duplicating the effect to a larger scale and what they should do with the extra waste, still exist. It maybe sometime before they are able to use it globally or for commercial use, but as wateronline.com puts it, “this could change a whole lot of lives.”
This technology, when finalized, could benefit countries and states, such as California, during a drought or from drinking unhealthy and dangerous water. According to water.org, “About 760 million people do not have clean water and 840,000 of those people die from unhealthy water each year.”