Scientists cook up new recipes for taking salt out of seawater


As populations boom and chronic droughts persist, coastal cities like Carlsbad in Southern California have increasingly turned to ocean desalination to supplement a dwindling fresh water supply. Now scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) investigating how to make desalination less expensive have hit on promising design rules for making so-called “thermally responsive” ionic liquids to separate water from salt.

Ionic liquids are a liquid salt that binds to water, making them useful in forward osmosis to separate contaminants from water. (See Berkeley Lab Q&A, “Moving Forward on Desalination”) Even better are thermally responsive ionic liquids as they use thermal energy rather than electricity, which is required by conventional reverse osmosis (RO) desalination for the separation. The new Berkeley Lab study, published recently in the journal Nature Communications Chemistry, studied the chemical structures of several types of ionic liquid/water to determine what “recipe” would work best.

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DIY energy drink – Astronauts drink their own urine


Converts urine to an energy drink.

The internet is full of stories that astronauts on the current shuttle mission will be testing a new system for recycling their own pee and sweat into a sugary energy drink.  But the pee-to-water converter that enables the recycling of human, or even animal, urine into drinkable water is not science fiction.


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Solution for Haiti – HydroWell Village – Produces Clean Water From Virtually Any Water Source


HyrdoWell Village

Haiti is looking for help with their water supply, and this may be it. Providing water in remote and austere environments is a logistical nightmare.  In emergencies, water systems take too long to setup.  Bulk water is expensive and difficult to deliver.  Surface water is almost always heavily contaminated, resulting in death and disease.

Continue reading… “Solution for Haiti – HydroWell Village – Produces Clean Water From Virtually Any Water Source”