Freshwater from Saltwater

IMG_0486By Lee Sherman

TURNING SALTWATER INTO DRINKABLE FRESHWATER is typically done in large facilities near big power plants to keep energy costs low. The water then is transported to its destination at added costs to the environment and economy. Now, a partnership between OSU and a private startup is moving the industry toward a cheaper, greener approach. With seed funds from Oregon BEST, researcher Goran Jovanovic is working on a novel “capacitive deionization” process that could remove salt from seawater using half the energy of prevailing technologies. “Recently, a large international company expressed an interest in adopting this technology for their clean-water needs,” says Jovanovic. “They will be supporting part of our R&D activities for the next two years.”