MIT researchers invent a portable device that turns seawater into drinkable water

MIT engineers have invented a new desalination device that doesn’t rely on any filters like traditional machines, but instead hits the water with electrical currents.

Certainly, one of the main challenges is to achieve increasingly efficient, light and economic desalination methods, which allow the treatment of salt water in any part of the world.

Now, from the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) they announce a new portable desalination unit, which weighs less than 10 kilograms and is capable of removing particles and salts to generate drinking water with the push of a button.

Packaged in a suitcase-sized device, it can be powered by a portable solar panel, making it easy to use in remote areas with fairly limited resources, according to the MIT team that developed it.

“The device does not depend on any filter like traditional desalination machines,” collects an interview with its managers published in The Daily Beast. “Instead, it hits the water with electrical currents to remove minerals like salt particles from the water.”

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The water generated by the desalination unit exceeds WHO quality standards thanks to a two-stage process that removes dissolved and suspended solids. It is worth mentioning that a prototype that generated 0.3 liters of drinking water per hour directly from the sea was successfully tested.

In fact, it is designed to be used by non-expert users and can be controlled wirelessly via a smartphone app.

“This is really the culmination of a 10-year journey that my group and I have been on,” said Jongyoon Han, a professor of electrical engineering at MIT.

However, other scientists not involved in the research noted other limitations in the current prototype.

Thus, Professor Nidal Hilal, director of the Abu Dhabi water research center of the University of New York, declared that the configuration requires expensive materials, and pointed out “it would be interesting to see similar systems with low-cost materials”.

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