Considering that the world population is expected to reach 9 billion in the next 40 years, access to drinkable clean water resources has become a major global issue.
Limited availability of fresh water, has led many governments around the world with water scarcity to turn into desalination as a means of providing drinkable water. It is therefore no surprise that by the year 2016, over $88 billion are planned to be invested in various desalination projects around the globe.
Currently there are two main methods of water desalination: 1) High tech membranes (by forcing the salty water into special material that will block the salt) 2) Heat-based method (desalination by means of boiling the water). Although high-tech membranes plants are slightly more energy efficient, both technologies use considerable amount of energy and have a high emission rate. Hence, in the recent years there has been a push to invent new technologies to address this issue.
PAX Pure, a startup based in California, has developed a new system that will not only decrease the operational expenditure but will also allow for a much more environmentally-friendly desalination process. Based on their website, The PAX Pure process operate in the following manner:
“PAX Pure achieves low temperature boiling with the world’s first vacuum condenser. This patented breakthrough allows PAX Pure Technology to drive a vacuum and condense water in one step with no moving parts, membranes or chemicals. The low temperature operating point also permits PAX Pure to use low cost materials that reduce capital expense and prevent scaling. By separating and condensing water vapor, PAX Pure is able to treat water with very high mineral content, ideal for desalination and other hard to treat waters.”
The company believes that its technology has the potential to be used not only for municipal desalination, but also in agricultural and food and beverage manufacturing industries.