prof. dr. ir. Arne Verliefde
Drinkable seawater a step closer
The desalination process from seawater requires a lot of energy. With new breakthrough technology that desalinates seawater and at the same time generates energy, the production of sustainable drinking water from seawater is a step closer to reality.
Traditionally, seawater is desalinated with a membrane that lets water through while stopping salt. Driving the water through the membrane requires a lot of energy. Our researchers solved this problem by bringing together salt- and fresh water. If salt- and fresh water come together, the salt wants to move towards the fresh water, a movement that generates energy. We developed a membrane that first stops the water and lets the salt pass, which reduces the amount of energy needed to push the water through a membrane that stops the salt. This method allows both the generating of new energy and lowers the amount of energy needed to produce drinking water.