The electro-dialysis process is a cheap and quick way to desalinate water from the sea. However, the process does not remove harmful particles from the water. Now researchers at MIT have found a way to do just that. Renowned scientists at MIT have introduced a way to desalinate the salty water that also removes the harmful disease causing bacteria through a process known as “shock electro- dialysis”.
Urgent Need of Clean Water
Clean water supply is the most important need of today due to ever-increasing human population. In rural areas around the world, half of the population does not have access to clean drinking water. The ocean contains about 317 million cubic miles of water containing about 1 trillion gallons each mile, but they are not suitable for drinking since they are saline. So finding a way to desalinate the ocean water and make it free of harmful particles is essential.
One of the big problems with available desalination process is that they are either expensive or are a very slow process. The most common method to clean saline water is to distill water in a vacuum. However, this process requires a lot of energy and is not cheap. Another process of reverse osmosis pumps water particles through a membrane that does not allow chlorine and sodium to pass through them but the process is very slow to be practical on a large scale. The third method is electro-dialysis, which is a cheap and fast process but does not remove harmful particles from the water.
Electro-dialysis works in the similar way to reverse osmosis. They allow sodium and chlorine ions to pass through a membrane in the presence of an electric field, leaving purified water on the other side. Since only ions are passed, the process is faster than the reverse osmosis process that effectively cleans the water. However, the problem is that electro-dialysis does not remove dirt and harmful bacteria contained in the water.
Shock Electro-Dialysis as an Ideal Solution
Researchers have come up with the perfect solution to find a way to clean saline water quickly, cheaply, and effectively. The process is a variant of electro-dialysis and is called “shock electro-dialysis”. Through this process, not only salt matter is removed but many harmful bacteria and other particles are efficiently removed from the water.
A top official at MIT states that shock electro-dialysis process has a great potential to enable clean and practical water desalination. The process works by allowing chlorine and sodium to pass through a membrane in the presence of an electric field. This process leaves purified water that is free from harmful bacteria such as E. coli and many other contaminants.