Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















WATER WORLD
Battery technology could charge up water desalination
by Staff Writers
Champaign IL (SPX) Feb 05, 2016


Inspired by the principles of a conventional sodium ion battery, Illinois mechanical science and engineering professor Kyle Smith, right, and graduate student Rylan Dmello found they could desalinate salt water more efficiently than using traditional methods. Image courtesy L. Brian Stauffer. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The technology that charges batteries for electronic devices could provide fresh water from salty seas, says a new study by University of Illinois engineers. Electricity running through a salt water-filled battery draws the salt ions out of the water. Illinois mechanical science and engineering professor Kyle Smith and graduate student Rylan Dmello published their work in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society.

"We are developing a device that will use the materials in batteries to take salt out of water with the smallest amount of energy that we can," Smith said. "One thing I'm excited about is that by publishing this paper, we're introducing a new type of device to the battery community and to the desalination community."

Interest in water desalination technology has risen as water needs have grown, particularly in drought-stricken areas. However, technical hurdles and the enormous amounts of energy required have prevented wide-scale implementation. The most-used method, reverse osmosis, pushes water through a membrane that keeps out the salt, a costly and energy-intensive process. By contrast, the battery method uses electricity to draw charged salt ions out of the water.

The researchers were inspired by sodium ion batteries, which contain salt water. Batteries have two chambers, a positive electrode and a negative electrode, with a separator in between that the ions can flow across. When the battery discharges, the sodium and chloride ions - the two elements of salt - are drawn to one chamber, leaving desalinated water in the other.

In a normal battery, the ions diffuse back when the current flows the other direction. The Illinois researchers had to find a way to keep the salt out of the now-pure water.

"In a conventional battery, the separator allows salt to diffuse from the positive electrode into the negative electrode," Smith said. "That limits how much salt depletion can occur. We put a membrane that blocks sodium between the two electrodes, so we could keep it out of the side that's desalinated."

The battery approach holds several advantages over reverse osmosis. The battery device can be small or large, adapting to different applications, while reverse osmosis plants must be very large to be efficient and cost effective, Smith said. The pressure required to pump the water through is much less, since it's simply flowing the water over the electrodes instead of forcing it through a membrane.

This translates to much smaller energy needs, close to the very minimum required by nature, which in turn translates to lower costs. In addition, the rate of water flowing through it can be adjusted more easily than other types of desalination technologies that require more complex plumbing.

Smith and Dmello conducted a modeling study to see how their device might perform with salt concentrations as high as seawater, and found that it could recover an estimated 80 percent of desalinated water. Their simulations don't account for other contaminants in the water, however, so they are working toward running experiments with real seawater.

"We believe there's a lot of promise," Smith said. "There's a lot of work that's gone on in developing new materials for sodium ion batteries. We hope our work could spur researchers in that area to investigate new materials for desalination. We're excited to see what kind of doors this might open."

The paper "Na-Ion Desalination (NID) Enabled by Na-Blocking Membranes and Symmetric Na-Intercalation: Porous-Electrode Modeling" is available online.

.


Related Links
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
WATER WORLD
Small ponds produce an outsized share of greenhouse gases
New Haven CT (SPX) Feb 03, 2016
Tiny ponds play a disproportionately large role in global greenhouse gas emissions from inland waters, according to a new study by Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Although ponds less than a quarter of an acre in size make up only 8.6% of the surface area of the world's lakes and ponds, they account for 15.1% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and 40.6% of diffusive meth ... read more


WATER WORLD
Homeless Gazans struggle during harsh winter

Canada considers housing Syrian refugees at military bases

Chinese ship to join Australia-led search for MH370

Facebook blocks unlicensed gun sales

WATER WORLD
ChemChina 'eyeing Syngenta' in biggest ever Chinese takeover

Researchers develop completely new kind of polymer

Energy harvesting via smart materials

A new quantum approach to big data

WATER WORLD
In the Southern Ocean, a carbon-dioxide mystery comes clear

Mercury in seafood not harmful to aging brain: study

Ready for the high seas?

Iraq awards Italy's Trevi contract to fix imperilled dam

WATER WORLD
Antarctic study identifies melting ice sheet's role in sea level rise

Greenland model could help estimate sea level rise

Denmark to chair Nordic Defense Cooperation in 2016

New gravity dataset will help unveil the Antarctic continent

WATER WORLD
Scientists discover how plants tailor growth to the seasons

Transgenic plants' 'die and let live' strategy dramatically increases drought resistance

Organic agriculture key to feeding the world sustainably

China firm offers record $43 bn for agri-giant Syngenta

WATER WORLD
Lava flow crisis averted

Climate change boosted 'once-a-century' floods: study

Shallow earthquakes and deeper tremors along southern San Andreas fault

Alaska hit by 6.8-magnitude earthquake: USGS

WATER WORLD
Tanzania arrests three after British wildlife pilot killed

Ugandan opposition general charged at court martial: lawyer

Deploying AU force without Burundi approval 'unimaginable': AU official

Head of Libya's unity government meets army chief

WATER WORLD
U.K. regulators give the go ahead to modify human embryos

Humans evolved by sharing technology and culture

How environmental awareness helped the Bushmen to poison their game

New research sharpens understanding of poison-arrow hunting in Africa




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.