Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Some day we may make deserts bloom

Large scale desalination would be a boom to many countries.

A Cheaper Way to Clean Water starts with:

Oasys Water, a company that has been developing a novel, inexpensive desalination technology, showed off a new development facility in Boston this week. The company, which has been demonstrating commercial-scale components of its system in recent months, plans to begin testing a complete system early next year and to start selling the systems by the end of 2011.

Currently, desalination is done mainly in one of two ways: water is either heated until it evaporates (called a thermal process) or forced through a membrane that allows water molecules but not salt ions to pass (known as reverse osmosis). Oasys's method uses a combination of ordinary (or forward) osmosis and heat to turn sea water into drinking water

If it becomes cheaper to turn ocean water into drinking water than to use water from rivers and lakes, then places like New York City and Los Angeles wouldn't use up so much of the available fresh water.

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