New Technology Allows for Sea Water To Be Made Potable at the Press of a Button

Andrei Tapalaga

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2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water at homeIAmNotPerfect/Pixabay

One problem that humanity is facing is that only 0.5% of the water we have on Earth is actually potable and this is because most of the water on Earth is not fresh. About 97% of all water can be found in Oceans which are simply too salty for human consumption. All of the water we drink comes from rivers and freshwater lakes.

 One question that had been raised many times is if humanity will have enough potable water in the future? With an increasing population and water being a necessity to live, it is slowly becoming a risk. Many third-world countries still suffer as they do not have access to potable water, especially in Africa where due to the hot climate there is a lack of fresh water reserves

Some very intelligent people have already acknowledged this problem and started working for years to find a way to turn that 97% of salty water found in oceans potable. A group of scientists from MIT has created a device that filters out all the salt from the seawater, making it potable with just a simple press of a button. 

This portable seawater desalination system has been created to help solve the water crisis in third-world countries. Through the use of a complex electrical system, the salt, and other bacteria from the seawater are removed, leaving you with potable water. The device is revolutionary as it only weighs 10kg and requires less power than a smartphone to run. 

The device ensures that the drinking water which is generated exceeds World Health Organisation (WHO) quality standards. Compared to other similar devices that have been created, this specific device goes further, by removing the particles of salt and bacteria within the seawater, ensuring that it generates the freshest and most potable water out there. 

Based on statistics from WHO, 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water at home, which means 26% of the world’s population does not have the most basic need available and the number is growing. 

Jongyoon Hana professor of electrical engineering and computer science and biological engineering who is the team leader of this project mentioned that they have been working for the last 10 years on building such a device: 

“This is really the culmination of a 10-year journey that I and my group have been on. We worked for years on the physics behind individual desalination processes but pushing all those advances into a box, building a system, and demonstrating it in the ocean, was a really meaningful and rewarding experience for me.” (Quote by Jongyoon Hana)

The device has been designed in such a way that even a monkey could work it. The researchers have created a smartphone app that can control the device wirelessly in real time at the press of a button. The app can present even different data about the seawater filtered, such as how salty the water is of how much power is being consumed. There is still more work to be done, but this is a big step in the right direction.

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