Although over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, a lack of drinkable water is a common problem throughout the world. Most of the Earth’s water is from seas and oceans, the salt content of which makes the water difficult to consume. Since the 1970’s, the solution has been reverse osmosis, however the process is costly and causes more environmental harm than good. However, a doctoral student from the University of Texas, Austin, by the name of Kyle Knust may have found a solution.
Knust has created a small device by called the Waterchip. The Waterchip fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and separates the salt from water through the use of electrical currents. Saltwater passes through a Y-shaped channel in the Waterchip, where electrical currents separate the liquid where the Y splits, leaving the salt in one channel, as clean water passes through the other. Knust says the Waterchip is infinitely scalable; while one chip removes 25% of the salt from seawater, hundreds of chips linked together in a plant, pumping seawater through, could produce as much freshwater as many reverse osmosis plant, but with a significantly smaller consumption of energy.
(Source: Popular Science)