Thursday, April 15, 2010


One of the nice things about having the world's first electrically propelled Nonsuch 30 is I no longer need to find or tie up at a fuel dock. This is a real good thing. Unfortunately, I still occasionally need to stop at a dock to top off the water tanks. Bob at BOAT BITS has come across a promising technology that may soon eliminate the need for sailors to even make diversions and stops to find a dock with water.

How does it work?
Each individual device would only process minute amounts of water, but a large number of them — the researchers envision an array with 1,600 units fabricated on an 8-inch-diameter wafer — could produce about 15 liters of water per hour, enough to provide drinking water for several people. The whole unit could be self-contained and driven by gravity — salt water would be poured in at the top, and fresh water and concentrated brine collected from two outlets at the bottom.

They've already tested it in nearby local waters:
So far, the researchers have successfully tested a single unit, using seawater they collected from a Massachusetts beach. The water was then deliberately contaminated with small plastic particles, protein and human blood. The unit removed more than 99 percent of the salt and other contaminants. “We clearly demonstrated that we can do it at the unit chip level,”

This technology certainly sounds promising not only for us sailors who want spend as little time looking for a place to find water but, for many other people in the world who need clean drinking water.

1 comment:

bowsprite said...

and it's beautiful! like a Miro! micro-Miro.