2000-09-24 – New Idea of the Week – September 2000

How about a power-free desalination pot? Using today’s advanced materials,
such as sorbent materials and oolite clays, it should be possible to create a
jar with a massive internal surface area, in which salt ions could be trapped.
An alternative would be a system that uses reverse osmosis in order to separate
the salts from the water. The water would be forced through the filter by the
action of gravity, and a small trickle of water would emerge. This would fall a
small distance, and pass through another filter, and another, until the salt
content was low enough to be drinkable. All bacteria and viri would, of course,
have already been removed by the filters. A constant supply of saltwater would
prevent the system stalling as the salt built up. A third option would be to use
a layer of water repellant material, which would allow the higher speed water up
it, in preference to the heavier, and therefore less rapidly moving for a given
temperature, salt molecules. The problems of pressure gradients could be avoided
by clever design.

1 Comment

  1. admin on January 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    This is an archive post, recovered from original work done as per the date shown.
    Interestingly, these portable devices for making potable water are now commonly available, and use atmospheric pressure and manual pumping to provide the energy required to provide desalinated water, in the process of reverse osmosis.

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