Scientists in Egypt have found a way to make saltwater drinkable using less energy than ever before.
In recent years, the country has been experiencing a shortage of water that has progressively gotten worse as the population has grown. The country currently places restrictions on its water use, and these restrictions fall well short of actual demand.
By being able to convert saltwater into drinkable water, Egypt’s longstanding water woes could soon be over. Scientists from Egypt’s Alexandria University are currently developing a water purification technique that would use a remarkably low amount of energy.
This new technique would utilize a membrane that would clean water, while also removing the presence of salt. This would offer Egypt and other developing countries a new source of inexpensive water.
The membrane is made using materials readily available in North Africa, and it could change the entire world’s outlook for water. Scientists eventually want to mass-produce the membrane, allowing people throughout the world to access their purification technique.
The technique works by passing the water through a filtering membrane before it is heated and made into vapor. The vapor is then condensed and collected so that it can be easily consumed.
The membrane reportedly consists of just five ingredients, and it can be constructed without great difficulty. The new system has even proven to be successful with the highly salty water of the Red Sea.
Leading scientist Ahmed El-Shafei said, "Using pervaporation eliminates the need for electricity that is used in classic desalination processes, thus cutting costs significantly.”
With the technique, scientists will be able to cut the energy that is required for water purification in half.
Scientists are saying that by making water purification more cost-effective, they will be able to use these methods on a much wider scale.
This will bring fantastic benefits in terms of greatly reduced water shortages and a thriving agricultural scene across the planet. It would also lead to a major spurt in overall human development.
For now, the scientists will continue their research so that one day they can bring water to the entire world.