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Science And Nature

MIT teams new device turns seawater into normal water with one button press

Researchers with MIT can see a method to easily turn seawater into normal water by pressing a button. The institute shared news concerning the discovery back April. The machine uses portable desalination unit that may turn impure water into normal water without filters or high-pressure pumps.

MIT scientists made a tool that turns seawater into normal water

Turning seawater into normal water isnt impossible. But, it often requires heavy, massive desalination equipment. However, back April of the year, researchers with MIT shared a suitcase-sized device with the capacity of desalinating water at the press of an individual button.

Most portable desalination systems require the water to feed filters. However, this new device utilizes electricity to eliminate the particles from the water. This enables it to create normal water without needing to be worried about long-term maintenance requirements. Doing this is particularly important where portable units such as this could provide normal water for entire communities.

Having the ability to turn seawater into normal water could possibly be life-changing for most communities, especially those on small islands. The portable unit would also be useful aboard seafaring cargo ships. It might even be utilized to assist refugees fleeing natural disasters. Needless to say, it could also be ideal for military operations where long-term water supplies tend to be more difficult to get.

Ion concentration polarization

how MITs desalination unit works
The way the device turns seawater into clean normal water. Image source: MIT / YouTube

Rather than using filters to completely clean the seawater and transform it into normal water, these devices uses ion concentration polarization (or ICP). ICP was pioneered by Jongyoon Han and a team of researchers almost about ten years ago. It applies a power field to membranes above and below the water. This then repels the particles since it passes through.

However, ICP doesnt always remove all the salt particles floating in the water. To combat this, the researchers incorporated another process, electrodialysis, that they use to eliminate any remaining salt ions. Altogether, the machine is effective in tandem, permitting them to turn seawater into normal water.

Needless to say, building something in a lab is a very important factor. To seriously test the merchandise, MIT says the researchers took it to a beach and field-tested these devices. It was in a position to successfully turn seawater into normal water on the initial run. But, Han says that success was only possible due to all of the advances made toward desalination technology on the way.

Needless to say, this isnt the initial impressive thing researchers at MIT have created. Some MIT researchers may also be trying to create a time machine that may detect dark matter.

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