Using new, more energy-efficient reverse osmosis membranes and other technologies could sharply cut the high cost of desalinating water, allowing the process to play a larger role in solving the world’s worsening water crisis, according to scientists in the second of the American Chemical Society’s podcast series, “Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions.”
The desalination podcast identifies the issues surrounding desalination and follows the first of the podcasts, issued in June, which discussed the increasing problems of global water supplies and clean, safe drinking water. Both are aimed at providing information from experts to the public interested in this issue. They are available at iTunes and from ACS at www.acs.org/globalchallenges.
In the latest podcast, Mark Shannon, Ph.D., Director, WaterCAMPWS Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, and David Klanecky, global director of research and development at Dow Water Solutions are experts cited.
The podcast points out that because of the amount of energy needed, it may cost $1 to produce 1,000 gallons of freshwater with desalinization, while drinking water produced from lakes and rivers sells for less than 30 cents per 1,000 gallons. A solution to the energy use problem may rest with new reverse osmosis membranes and new osmosis processes that need less energy, the podcast says.
The bi-monthly series runs through December and future podcasts will discuss improving human health, developing alternatives to petroleum, preserving the environment and assuring a sustainable future for our children.