Although large-scale, inefficient factory-sized plants to exist to process the salt out of salt water, the idea of cheap and portable system for individual use has always been a pipe dream. Until now.
Freshwater could become the oil of the 21st century – scarce, expensive and fought over. While over 70 per cent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, most of it is unusable for human consumption.
Researchers have now demonstrated a new, efficient and fouling-free desalination process based on the ion concentration polarization (ICP) phenomenon – a fundamental electrochemical transport phenomenon that occurs when an ion current is passed through ion-selective membranes – for direct desalination of sea water.