Tests on an MIT building rooftop showed that a simple proof-of-concept desalination device could produce clean, drinkable water at a rate equivalent to more than 1.5 gallons per hour for each square meter of solar collecting area. Images courtesy of the researchers By Paul Brown An international team of scientists has developed a cheap way to provide fresh water to thirsty communities by making seawater drinkable without using electricity. So long as the sun is shining, they say, their device will produce enough high-quality potable water to cover a family’s needs, at a cost of around $100. The scientists, from Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT), U.S. and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, believe their brainwave offers a simple solution to thirsty islands and arid coastal areas which lack a reliable electricity supply but have access to seawater. It could even help to prevent some of the mass migrations expected with climate change . The researchers report their work in the journal Energy and Environmental Science . Testing their prototype on a roof at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , they produced more than 1.5 gallons of fresh drinking water every hour for every square meter of solar collecting area. […]

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