A Turkish scientists and his team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have discovered a solar-powered solution to produce freshwater from saltwater.
Emre Gençer of MIT's Energy Initiative said the project was inspired by countries with plenty of sunlight but little water to spare.
"Freshwater, electricity, and hydrogen can be produced using solar energy and saltwater, which are among the world's most abundant resources," he told Anadolu Agency.
Gençer explained that the water is first evaporated using a solar energy system, and then the steam is sent to turbines to produce electricity.
"The steam produced during the power generation phase is directed to the thermal treatment system and is used to heat the saltwater. At this stage, some of the saltwater evaporates and freshwater is obtained," he said.
Water security is a key issue as global population rises and consumption increases, Gençer explained in the research, published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
Desalination techniques have been criticized for their high energy consumption, despite efforts to design lower-energy processes. Research on obtaining fresh water using only renewable energy is a significant step toward making the process more feasible.
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