Small-scale desalination approach to a big water problem

A research project recently undertaken at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has revealed a new mechanism for desalination/purification of water, employing a microfluidic channel-network system, which could lead to the development of small and portable units. The authors have started to build a prototype device in the laboratory in order to demonstrate the necessary scale-up of this technology. If developed, this type of portable, self-powered desalination system would find many important applications such as for disaster relief, military use, shipboard units and regional water purification in developing countries. This article first appeared in the August/September 2010 issue of Desalination & Water Reuse magazine.

A research project recently undertaken at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has revealed a new mechanism for desalination/purification of water, employing a microfluidic channel-network system, which could lead to the development of small and portable units.

The authors have started to build a prototype device in the laboratory in order to demonstrate the necessary scale-up of this technology. If developed, this type of portable, self-powered desalination system would find many important applications such as for disaster relief, military use, shipboard units and regional water purification in developing countries.

This article first appeared in the August/September 2010 issue of Desalination & Water Reuse magazine.


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