Science Snapshots From Berkeley Lab – Water purification, infant-warming device, cuff-based heart disease monitor, ancient magnetic fields
Researchers at The University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute have developed technology that could eliminate water stress for millions of people, including those living in many of the planet’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
During the dry season this year, Bangkok residents have faced the saltiest tap water problem in 20 years as a result of global warming and seawater rise. Chulalongkorn engineers predict the problem to persist until May and have proposed solutions with desalination technology.
A team of researchers — including engineers from Iowa State University — have used transmission electron microscopy and 3D computational modeling to quantify and visualize why some desalination membranes work better than others.
LLNL researchers have created carbon nanotube (CNT) pores that are so efficient at removing salt from water that they are comparable to commercial desalination membranes. These tiny pores are just 0.8 nanometers in diameter. In comparison, a human hair is 60,000 nanometers across.
In a new perspective, SLAC and University of Paderborn scientists argue that research at synchrotrons could help improve water-purifying materials in ways that might not otherwise be possible.
Over the past year, Columbia Engineering researchers have been refining their unconventional desalination approach for hypersaline brines—temperature swing solvent extraction (TSSE)—that shows great promise for widespread use. The team now reports that their method has enabled them to attain energy-efficient zero-liquid discharge of ultrahigh salinity brines—the first demonstration of TSSE for ZLD desalination of hypersaline brines.
Evaporation ponds, commonly used in many industries to manage wastewater, can occupy a large footprint and often pose risks to birds and other wildlife, yet they’re an economical way to deal with contaminated water. Now researchers at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated a way to double the rate of evaporation by using solar energy and taking advantage of water’s inherent properties, potentially reducing their environmental impact. The study is reported in the journal Nature Sustainability.