The principle of harnessing osmosis has the potential to produce enormous amounts of energy anywhere that salt water and fresh water meet. We looked at some of the approaches to turning this theory into reality earlier this year
, including Statkraft's plans to build a prototype power plant. The company's plans are now coming to fruition with Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway officially opening the world's first osmotic power plant prototype on November 24.
Desalination plants generally employ one of two methods to produce clean water – reverse osmosis
or electrodialysis. Unfortunately, both processes require large amounts of energy, but an international team of researchers has proven a process that cleans wastewater can also remove 90 percent of salt from brackish water or seawater while generating electricity.
Desalination is a popular source of potable water in Middle Eastern countries, where large energy reserves and the relative scarcity of water suitable for drinking led to desalination in the region accounting for close to 75% of total world capacity in 2007. If that figure hasn’t already dropped it almost certainly will as access to clean water becomes an issue for many places around the globe. And the shortage isn’t just limited to developing countries, with places like California and parts of Australia facing their worst droughts in recorded history. A new mini-mobile-modular (M3) “smart” water desalination and filtration system could help determine the feasibility of desalination in areas that may be considering it for the first time.
Green energy comes in many guises these days, from wind-power to wave-power. One of the more compelling of the new kids on the eco-energy block is salinity power, which uses the concurrence of salt-water and freshwater in estuaries and marries it with the natural, effortless process of osmosis.
October 15, 2007 On any given day, over one billion people lack access to clean drinking water and over 50% of hospital beds are occupied by people suffering from water-borne diseases. In the face of these facts it is clear that any technological innovation that can help combat this problem is a worthy one, with water filtration systems such as the LifeStraw
and the LIFESAVER bottle
having recently grabbed our attention. Now new technology developed by Hydration Technologies (HTI) has become available that allows the user to create a safe, clean diluted sports drink from any contaminated (even sewage-like) groundwater source without the use of power, pumping or chemicals.