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Posted Wed Jul 21 2010: from Environmental Health News:
New membrane makes fresh water from sea and sewage feasible
Researchers at Yale University have developed a custom membrane that can clean and purify water from oceans, salty ground water or sewage water with far less energy input than currently is required to do a similar job. The membrane may be a big step forward in reaching the goal of reliable and affordable sources of fresh water. Finding sustainable sources of clean drinking water is a major global challenge, especially in most of the developing world. The need is apparent in both urban areas, due to growing population and demand, and rural regions, where sometimes scarce water supplies are quickly drying up. As fresh water becomes more scarce, desalination and filtering will be increasingly necessary to satisfy the world's unquenchable thirst for this precious commodity. Yet, neither of the existing desalination technologies -- distilling sea water water vapors by boiling then collecting the water vapors or reverse osmosis where water is pushed through membranes to filter the salt -- are feasible on a large scale. Both require high amounts of energy to either boil the water or create pressure.
[Read more stories about: water issues, technological innovation, sustainability]

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'Doc Michael says:
Now if we can just develop a membrane to turn that water into wine.

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