New Technology Desalinates Sea Water at 80 Percent Less Cost than Current Methods

Aug. 9, 2001
Products at Work

Though water covers 70 percent of the earth's surface, supplies of potable water are in crisis. According to World Watch Institute's "State of the World 2000" report, we are draining our renewable resources (lakes, rivers, aquafiers) in excess of 109 billion gallons per day. With the world running out of fresh water, demand for a cheaper way to transform saltwater into fresh has spurred the development of a new technology by AquaSonics International, Inc., the Rapid Spray Distillation (RSD) process, that desalinates water at a fraction of the cost of current methods.

A world crisis foreseen forty years ago by President Kennedy has come to pass. "If we could ever competitively, at a cheap rate, get fresh water from salt water, that would be in the long-range interests of humanity and would dwarf any other scientific accomplishments," he said.

The first new technology in the field in twenty years, RSD is based on the principle that saltwater (or contaminated water) can be ejected at high velocities so that, as rapid evaporation occurs, solids separate out and are trapped. The resulting vapor is condensed into pure water. According to AquaSonics International President and CEO Henry Lloyd, "An added benefit of the RSD process is that the salt precipitates out as a solid and remains crystalline, reducing disposal costs and providing commercially viable raw materials."

Comparison to

Current Technologies

RSD technology achieves in one step what current methods of reverse osmosis and multi-stage flash require multiple steps to accomplish. RSD is three times more efficient in processing sea-water, generating 95 percent recovery of fresh water for every gallon of sea water compared with 36 percent achieved by reverse osmosis and mulit-flash. Three times the volume of fresh water is generated with one half the capital equipment outlays and a fraction of the energy input. The projected impact on total costs would be to reduce the overall expenditure for RSD desalinated water one-quarter the cost of current methods, making fresh water available where it is now scarce.

AquaSonics International Consultant James George, Canadian Ambassador to India, Sri Lanka, (ret.) said, "Wars have been and are being fought over water. A plentiful supply would be crucial not only for public health, but also for each country's national security."

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