What innovation looks like when water is a strategic resource

September 27, 2017 by  
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Learning from Israel’s leadership.

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What innovation looks like when water is a strategic resource

New graphene sieve can remove even small salts from seawater

April 4, 2017 by  
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Graphene is the world’s strongest material, but that’s not all it can do. The wonder material can also be used as a filter that removes salts from seawater so it’s safe to drink. While scientists have eyed graphene-oxide membranes for better filtration – and even showed graphene could filter out large salts – now 13 University of Manchester scientists developed graphene membranes that can sieve common, smaller salts out of water. It takes small sieves to remove common salts from substances like seawater, and in the past when placed in water graphene-oxide membranes swelled, and weren’t able to catch those smaller salts. The University of Manchester scientists found a way to control the pore size of the graphene to sieve those common small salts out of water. Professor Rahul Nair, one of the scientists part of the research, said the realization of “membranes with uniform pore size down to atomic scale” is a significant step. Related: Affordable new biofoam could revolutionize how developing countries clean water The discovery could open doors to efficient, less expensive desalination technology – which the university points out is crucial as climate change depletes water supply in modern cities. In just around eight years, 14 percent of the world’s population could face water scarcity, according to United Nations estimates, and not all countries can afford large, expensive desalination plants to provide relief to their citizens. The university says the graphene technology pursued by the scientists could revolutionize water filtration around the world, offering an affordable option for developing countries . The researchers think their discovery could be scaled up for wider use. Nair said in a statement, “This is the first clear-cut experiment in this regime. We also demonstrate that there are realistic possibilities to scale up the described approach and mass produce graphene-based membranes with required sieve sizes.” The journal Nature Nanotechnology published the research online yesterday. Via The University of Manchester Images via The University of Manchester and Pixabay

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New graphene sieve can remove even small salts from seawater

Gaza man’s DIY solar desalination machine can produce 2.6 gallons of fresh water every day

August 11, 2016 by  
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In the Gaza region, decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict have resulted in a severe drinking water shortage, as some 90 percent of the water supply is unfit for human consumption. One local man has created a solar-powered desalination device that turns undrinkable water into healthy, fresh H2O. Fayez al-Hindi’s homemade distillation setup could help save Gaza, as residents are at risk for running out of water in a matter of months, according to some news reports. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ1NCW5eDNs “Sunshine is readily available in our country,” the inventor says of his homemade desalination tank. In an attempt to address the water shortage with a sustainable solution, al-Hindi built a simple distillation tank that separates clean water from pollutants and salt. The inventor’s system produces about 2.6 gallons of water daily, which is just enough for he and his family’s basic drinking and cooking needs. Related: New chemical-free desalination tech helps bring water surplus to Israel Of course, many folks were concerned about how safe al-Hindi’s distilled water could be, so the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility tested the water and found that his process is working. Lab technician Mohamed Abu Shamaleh called the results “fascinating” and applauded al-Hindi for finding a way to take an old water treatment method and make it new by using solar power . Now, al-Hindi is working to help other local residents build their own distillation systems, so that more people can have easy access to safe drinking water. It will be years or perhaps decades before the region’s infrastructure is repaired, so homemade water purification systems like this one may become essential to survival for thousands of people in Gaza. Via AJ+ Images via AJ+ via screenshot

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Gaza man’s DIY solar desalination machine can produce 2.6 gallons of fresh water every day

New desalination method from Qatar recycles waste brine and excess CO2 at the same time

June 7, 2016 by  
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Desalination now supplies the majority of clean drinking water in areas surrounding the Persian Gulf, but it’s no easy task and can actually make the seawater saltier. Meanwhile, as the oil and natural gas industries have grown in the region, so too has the carbon dioxide saturating the atmosphere. A chemical engineer at Qatar University has been working to solve both problems simultaneously, and an efficient solution has emerged that could change everything. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aysj7696b0A Farid Benyahia is the man with the plan. The chemist and his research team found a way to recycle waste brine from the process used to turn salty seawater into clean drinking water . The team retooled the 150-year-old chemical conversion method widely used to produce sodium carbonate for industrial applications, simplifying it from seven steps down to just two. Benyahia found that pure carbon dioxide , when mixed with the brine byproduct of desalination in the presence of ammonia, results in solid sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and ammonium chloride solution. Additional steps break the solution down into calcium chloride solution and ammonia gas, enabling the ammonia to be recycled to start the process all over again. Related: New atom-thick desalination filter slashes energy use by 20 percent “The goal is to solve two nasty environmental problems with one smart solution and generate useful, marketable products to offset partially the cost of storing CO2,” Benyahia told Scientific American. The simplified desalination process recycles waste brine and eliminates the need to flush the super salty solution back into the sea. By finding a way to put excess CO2 to use, Benyahia believes his new method could help offset the emissions created by a growing energy industry. On its own, this process is more expensive than other desalination methods, but capturing and utilizing industrial CO2 outputs could help bring the cost down, if the appropriate infrastructure is in place. Via Scientific American Images via John Twohig/Flickr and Qatar University

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New desalination method from Qatar recycles waste brine and excess CO2 at the same time

Modroof: low-budget cardboard roofing that doesn’t leak during monsoon season

June 7, 2016 by  
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In areas where poverty is rampant, sometimes a roof over one’s head simply isn’t enough. Corrugated metal roofs are costly, can be dangerous, and are insufferably hot during summer months. That’s where Modroof by Re-Materials comes in; it’s an affordable modular paneling system made from fortified, recycled cardboard pulp that keeps residents drier, safer, and leaves them with leftover money in their pockets. Villages in India are starting to look a bit different thanks to stark blue rooftops made from recycled agricultural and packaging waste. Modroof panels are incredibly durable, able to withstand water and fire, and last much longer than other roofing materials. Typically homes are roofed with concrete or corrugated metal, which can create problems from unbearably uncomfortable heat, leaking during monsoon season, and even health issues. Related: Google’s Project Sunroof spreads to potentially reach 43 million rooftops The modular design allows for easy transport and installation, as well as replacement of individual panels. Residents need not worry about high costs, either, as affordable payment plans are made available so low-income families can improve their homes without having to wait. Re-Materials is also looking to equip the panels with solar cells so families can power their homes cheaply and sustainably. + Re-Materials Via  Fast Company Images via Re-Materials

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Modroof: low-budget cardboard roofing that doesn’t leak during monsoon season

Futuristic oceanscapers are floating villages 3D-printed from algae and plastic waste

December 28, 2015 by  
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California’s new $1 billion desalination plant produces 50 million gallons of water a day

December 17, 2015 by  
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After 20 years of planning, the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant began operations on Monday , churning out 50 million gallons of drinkable water each day. The plant takes in 100 million gallons of seawater a day from the adjacent Agua Hedionda Lagoon and puts it through a multiphasic process to remove particulates and impurities before using reverse osmosis to create fresh drinking water. The concentrated brine leftover is then diluted with seawater and piped back out to sea. The massive $1 billion public-private project was designed with energy efficiency in mind, but some critics continue to oppose the plant for its yet unknown environmental impact. Read the rest of California’s new $1 billion desalination plant produces 50 million gallons of water a day

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Recirculating e-Shower uses 80% less energy and 90% less water than other showers

December 17, 2015 by  
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Water-saving showers conserve one of the world’s most precious resources, but their flow rate leaves something to be desired. Enter Hamwells ‘ e-Shower, which pumps out recirculating water at a pressure reminiscent of less efficient showers. Lloyd Alter at Treehugger points out how the sustainable system values comfort and luxury, all while saving 80 percent of energy and 90 percent of water used in typical showers. Read the rest of Recirculating e-Shower uses 80% less energy and 90% less water than other showers

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Recirculating e-Shower uses 80% less energy and 90% less water than other showers

Desperate for Water, California Breaks Ground on the Largest Seawater Desalination Plant in the Western Hemisphere

February 27, 2014 by  
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Cracked ground image via Shutterstock California is currently experiencing its worst drought in 500 years. Although it’s always been an arid state, there’s reason to believe that California’s current crisis is being made worse by climate change. After announcing that it will not give water to farmers, the state has turned its discussion to the ocean. With more than two-thirds of California still under extreme drought conditions, the state has invested $1 billion in a massive desalination plant that will turn ocean brine into potable water. When finished in early 2016, the plant is expected to provide up to 50 million gallons of fresh drinkable water–enough for 112,000 Californian households–every day. Read the rest of Desperate for Water, California Breaks Ground on the Largest Seawater Desalination Plant in the Western Hemisphere Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: california drought , desalination in california , desalination plant , drinking the ocean , drinking water , drought in california , how to make drinking water , IDE Technologies , Poseidon Resources , water crisis in california        

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Desperate for Water, California Breaks Ground on the Largest Seawater Desalination Plant in the Western Hemisphere

Nano “Water Chip” Could Make Desalination Affordable for Everyone

July 3, 2013 by  
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With freshwater declining throughout the globe, desalination looks increasingly attractive, but current technologies are expensive, demand far too much energy and are prone to contamination. Now researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Marburg in Germany have developed a “water chip” that creates a small electrical field that separates salt from seawater. The technology, which is still under development and works at the nano scale, uses so little energy it can run off a store-bought battery! Read the rest of Nano “Water Chip” Could Make Desalination Affordable for Everyone Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cheaper desalination technologies , clean tech , clean water , desalination , drinking water , freshwater , nano liters , Okeanos Technologies , University of Marburg , University of Texas at Austin , Water Chip        

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