Many newsworthy happenings are bubbling up in the pool of activity surrounding clean-water technology. One is that India has launched the world's first floating desalination plant. Kapil Sibal, minister for science, technology and earth sciences, said Wednesday that the barge-mounted plant will produce up to one million liters of fresh water daily, and that the water would be superior to what's now available. The plant uses colder, deep sea water to assist in the cooling and condensation processes, resulting in a more efficient operation and using less energy.
General Electric (NYSE: GE) is supporting an initiative by Dynoil LLC to improve power and clean water resources in underdeveloped countries. GE is contributing solar energy modules and water filtration technology bearing its "ecomagination" certification to Dynoil's efforts to establish self-sustaining water filtration facilities in remote parts of India, Southeast Asia and Africa. Switzerland Guide News reported that Vic Abate, vice president of renewables for GE Energy, said, "We are very pleased and excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate how GE's ecomagination products can enable projects, like Dynoil's alternative energy/clean water initiative. These projects will help improve the health and safety conditions of areas lacking adequate infrastructure, transmission grids and direct access to safe water supplies." (The Switzerland Guide link is a must read!)
Accelerating Technology has reported that researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have developed a new membrane material which could revolutionize water purification technology for the long term and reduce the cost of desalination by as much as 75%, when compared with reverse osmosis systems. Reverse osmosis is the current standard water purification technology, which involves forcing water molecules through a restrictive membrane. The lab's new carbon nanotube membranes sort molecules by size and using electrostatic forces. Although the new membranes have reduced pore size, they allow the same flow-through volume as the current, less restrictive membranes. The development could mean energy savings, as less force is required to accomplish standard flow rates. Researchers say the carbon nanotube membrane also holds promise for applications in capturing and reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and similar operations.