Researchers Devised New Desalination Technique that Requires Less Power Source to Purify Water than Previous Method


Researchers have shown a way for an easier availability of safer water. The newly discovered desalination technique is capable of removing salt from water with the help of lower power source than previously required.

Bruce E. Logan, a Stan and Flora Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering and the Evan Pugh University professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Penn State and colleagues Taeyoung Kim, a post-doctoral scholar at environmental engineering and Christopher Gorski, an assistant professor of environmental engineering, have introduced the new desalination method which is known as battery electrode deionization (BDI).

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BDI enhances the standard capacitive deionization (CDI) method by removing the regeneration step and lowers the voltage needed to complete the process. The standard CDI methods desalinate water by segregating the ions in water. A traditional CDI cell contains two electrodes fixed on the opposite sides of flow channel.

In the newly devised BDI system, a traditional flow cell uses two channels that are separated with the help of membrane and two similar battery electrodes, which are located at each of the ends.

Bruce Logan said in a statement that, “Globally, there is reduced access to fresh water. More and more, the waters that are being used are impaired, either due to salt or other contaminants, so we are seeing an increasing need to rely on less optimal water sources. This is an innovative technology. This is not something that is out there and commercialized. It’s something that is right at the cutting-edge of new ways to get salt out of water.”

The research findings have published in September in the Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The National Science Foundation, Penn State University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology provided funds to the research.