Portable Low-Cost Water Desalination Device

Technology #12238

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Image Gallery
Permeating flow discharge provides low-energy desalination
Categories
Inventors
Professor Sang-Gook Kim
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
External Link (meche.mit.edu)
Professor Nam Pyo Suh
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
External Link (web.mit.edu)
Taesik Lee
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Gyunyoung Heo
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Ishan Barman
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Managed By
Jim Freedman
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Chemicals, Instruments, Consumer Products
Patent Protection

Method and apparatus for permeating flow desalination

US Patent 8,871,074
Publications
Capacitive deionization process with decoupled charging and discharging flow schemes
Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Axiomatic Design, Campus de Caparica, Lisbon, Portugal, pp, 25-27 March, 2009 - p. 185-192

 Water desalination is essential to produce fresh water for human consumption and agriculture, but current technologies are expensive and lose water. This technology is a low-cost process for water desalination using capacitive deionization. The technology is low-energy and inexpensive, and increases the water recovery ratio by 15-20%. It can be packaged as a small, portable device for individual use, is effective for high salinity water desalination, and provides a high-throughput method to obtain large volumes of clean water.

Permeating flow discharge provides low-energy and high-throughput desalination 

Desalination is usually done by reverse osmosis, a high-energy process that uses pressure to force water through a membrane. This technology uses permeating flow discharge, in which a small voltage is applied to electrodes with high surface area. As water flows through the system, ions in the water move towards the electrodes and are removed. The electrodes are porous, enabling waste water to flow through the electrodes rather than between them. This configuration makes desalination much faster than conventional axial flow processes, and increases the water recovery ratio and the net throughput.

Applications

  •  Production of potable water from brackish water
  • Generation of potable water using small, portable units during natural disasters and other emergency situations
  • Deionization of radioactive elements in water
  • Semiconductor fabrication

Advantages

  • Enhances the water recovery ratio and throughput, providing more clean water with less waste
  • No high pressure pumps required, making it low-energy and inexpensive
  • Suitable for high salinity water desalination
  • Can be packaged into small, portable desalination chambers powered by solar energy or batteries, expanding the market to include consumer use