It is time to abandon the conventional industrial machine as new tech purifies saltwater a thousand times faster. Columbia University scientists earlier revealed that they have discovered a mechanism to remove salt from saltwater so that it may be used for drinking and irrigation.
Scientists have been trying for years to find a simple way to remove salt from seawater. This may be the most important discovery in recent years.
Water with a high salt content, up to seven times more salty than typical saltwater, is purified using a procedure called Temperature Swing Solvent Extraction.
This is due to the fact that many industrial operations in oil and gas extraction produce this type of hypersaline brine. This is then discharged into our environment. It can be cleaned up to stop rivers and wells from getting dirty and to make more water.
Even if the procedure itself is hard, the demonstration they provide makes it easy to understand. In the demo, a red dye is introduced to the salty water, and the two appear to remain distinct.
When scientists heat the red liquid and pour it into another container, they are left with a thin layer of clear water.
Time to abandon the conventional industrial machine as new tech purifies saltwater a thousand times faster
There is now a new technology to filter water that is 2400 times quicker than even experimental carbon nanotube-based desalination machines.
Using a Teflon-like membrane to clean water is the future of desalination.
A worldwide shortage of water is becoming an increasingly serious issue. About 230 million people in Africa are expected to be affected by water shortages by 2025. This is with an additional 460 million people living in water-stressed areas.
It’s safe to assume that there will always be plenty of it available. This is because water covers 70% of the planet’s surface. However, the supply of fresh water is quite limited. Desalination facilities are one of the technologies being used to create additional freshwater.
Using desalination to remove salt from seawater produces pure water that may be further treated and safely utilized. About 50% of the water that enters a desalination plant is converted into potable water.
Although desalination of saltwater is a well-established method of generating drinking water, it has a significant energy cost. Fluorine-based nanostructures have been used for the first time to remove salt from water.
Compared to conventional desalination systems, these fluorous nanochannels run more quickly, require less pressure, are better filters and use less energy.
If you’ve ever used a nonstick Teflon-coated frying pan, you’ve definitely seen how easily liquid ingredients slide across the surface. Teflon is made up of a large part of fluorine, a chemical that is naturally water-repellent, often known as hydrophobic.
By lining pipes with Teflon, you may improve water flow. Yoshimitsu Itoh, an associate professor in Tokyo’s Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, was interested in the behavior of the beetles.
Fluorine pipelines or channels may function at a different size, at the nanoscale, so they were encouraged to look into this.
There are many communities across the world that lack access to clean drinking water. This is because of a lack of electricity and financial resources. We used water and salt as two of the chemicals.
We wanted to examine how well a fluorous nanochannel could filter them out. “Also, we opted to develop a functioning example following a series of rigorous computer simulations,” stated Itoh.
Thermal desalination (using heat to evaporate saltwater and condense it into clean water) and reverse osmosis (using pressure to drive water through a membrane that prevents salt) are the two major methods now used to desalinate water. “Fluorous nanochannels, on the other hand, need less energy and offer other advantages, according to our testing.”
Researchers were able to make test filtering membranes by chemically making tiny fluorine rings and putting them in an otherwise impenetrable lipid layer.
They created a variety of nanorings ranging in size from 1 to 2 nanometers for testing purposes. For reference, a human hair is around 100,000 nanometers wide. Using chlorine ions, one of the two primary salt components (the other being sodium), Itoh and his colleagues tested the efficiency of their membranes.
Being able to witness the outcomes in person was a thrilling experience. Even the most cutting-edge carbon nanotube filters couldn’t match the performance of our smaller test channels, which “perfectly rejected entering salt molecules,” said Itoh.
How quickly the procedure was completed surprised me the most. ” For example, our sample worked roughly several thousand times quicker than normal industrial devices, and around 2,400 times faster than experimental carbon nanotube-based desalination devices.”
It is because fluorine has a negative charge that it is able to reject the chlorine ions found in salt. But this negative energy also breaks up what are called “water clusters,” which are loose groups of water molecules. This makes the water move through the channels faster.
Is there a downside to using fluorine-based water desalination membranes from the team? What’s the drawback to using these membranes?
Need for Further Research
Even though our materials are now energy-intensive, we expect to reduce this in the future through new research. According to Itoh, the membranes’ extended lifespan and low running costs mean that overall energy expenses will be significantly lower than with present technologies.
“Of course, scaling this up is something we’d like to do in the future.” One year from now, we want to have a meter-wide membrane made of nanochannels that can be tested in our labs.
We are also looking into whether the same membranes could be used to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other waste products that factories put out.
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