Israeli and Dutch researchers have developed an effective technology for water desalination, the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) said, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
The new technology improves the quality of desalinated water while reducing the costs of the process, the Technion noted.
It is included in a study, published in the journal PNAS, conducted by Technion researchers and their Dutch colleagues from Wageningen University and Wetsus European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology in Leeuwarden.
The new method allows the removal of the toxic chemical element boron from the water in the process of desalination, in which mineral particles are removed from saltwater to make it fit for consumption and irrigation.
The most commonly used method of desalination is by means of an expensive short-life membrane, used as a sort of sieve that allows water to pass through it while blocking other particles according to their size or charge.
The new system, however, is based on simple and inexpensive porous electrodes, with a cyclical process of charging and discharging them.
When an electric current is applied, charged particles like boron are adsorbed by the electrodes and hence removed from the water.
The team also calculated the optimal applied voltage for the system, finding that higher voltage does not necessarily improve the system's effectiveness.
This method could be used to solve other water treatment challenges as well, such as the removal of medicine residues and herbicides, the researchers concluded.