Instead, the system uses an electrically driven shockwave within a stream of flowing water, which pushes salty water to one side of the flow and fresh water to the other, allowing easy separation of the two streams.
According to the researchers, this approach is a fundamentally new and different separation system. Unlike most other approaches to desalination or water purification, this one performs a “membraneless separation” of ions and particles.
Membranes in traditional desalination systems, such as those that use reverse osmosis or electrodialysis, are “selective barriers”.
They allow molecules of water to pass through, but block the larger sodium and chlorine atoms of salt. Compared to conventional electrodialysis, “This process looks similar, but it’s fundamentally different,”
In the new process, called shock electrodialysis, water flows through a porous material —in this case, made of tiny glass particles, called a frit — with membranes or electrodes sandwiching the porous material on each side. When an electric current flows through the system, the salty water divides into regions where the salt concentration is either depleted or enriched. When that current is increased to a certain point, it generates a shockwave between these two zones, sharply dividing the streams and allowing the fresh and salty regions to be separated by a simple physical barrier at the center of the flow. Read more.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?...