Solar power technology Electrodialysis unveiled in India to desalinate water

Sep 10, 2014 04:55 IST

A new solar power technology Electrodialysis unveiled in India in second week of September 2014 that can turn undrinkable salty water into clean and filtered drinking water.

The technology was unveiled by the researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The same technology can also be used for disaster relief and for military use in remote locations.


About Electrodialysis
•    Electrodialysis works by passing a stream of water between two electrodes with opposite charges.
•    The electrodes pull the ions out of the water as the salt dissolved in water consists of positive and negative ions. It leaves fresher water at the center of the flow.
•    A series of membranes separate the freshwater stream from salty ones.
•    Unlike reverse-osmosis technology, the use of membranes in Electrodialysis is exposed to lower pressures and can be cleared of salt by simply reversing the electrical polarity.

Reasons behind the need for desalinating drinking water
•    Approximately 60 percent of India contains salty water. Much of that area is not served by an electric grid that could help run conventional reverse-osmosis desalination plants.
•    Though moderately salty water is not directly toxic, but it can have long-term effects on health. Its unpleasant taste can make people turn to other dirtier water sources.
•    Many homes in India currently use home-based filtration systems to treat water. But, the village-scale system will be more effective as it will become easy for people to access filtered water.
•    By blending village-scale Electrodialysis systems with a simple set of solar panels, enough water can be supplied to meet the needs of a village comprising 2000 to 5000 people.

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