Skip to comments.Pentagon weapons-maker finds method for cheap, clean water
Posted on 03/18/2013 7:34:33 PM PDT by shove_it
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue.
The process, officials and engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp say, would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. Because the sheets of pure carbon known as graphene are so thin - just one atom in thickness - it takes much less energy to push the seawater through the filter with the force required to separate the salt from the water, they said.
The development could spare underdeveloped countries from having to build exotic, expensive pumping stations needed in plants that use a desalination process called reverse osmosis...
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Freeing people in 3rd world areas from water issues means a development boom. So this cannot be allowed. It clashes with ‘the plan’.
Great news if they can perfect the membrane.
So liberals are wrong once again. Human beings are the ultimate resource and we can work out way out of scarcity.
The liberals will vigorously oppose this technology some way, some how. They will invent an imaginary boogeyman if they have to. Anything that results in abundance and prosperity has to be opposed at all costs because with prosperity comes independence - and they loath that concept.
Carbon is bad bad bad. Everyone who is listening has learned this. /s
Not to mention Southern California!
The planet can handle TEN TIMES the number of people that now live on it, if water supply issues were eliminated...which I think would be the case if only 1% of the energy now required can be used for desalinization.
Wikipedia shows the present cost at 50 cents per cubic meter (264 gallons), or about 0.2 cents per gallon. Decrease that price by 99% and the water is basically free (at least with regard to energy cost). Other costs still exist - capital and operations...so I don’t know what the bottom line will be.
By desalinating water on any large scale, one necessarily increases the salinity of the remaining water left behind. This causes a disruption in the halene isobars, and changes the ambient temperature of the local oceanic body of water, thus displacing native species of fish, and even eliminating the habitat of various flora and fauna. Hence, mass desalization of ocean water both threatens wildlife, and causes global warming on a local scale.
(all of which is true - but, it is also insignificant).
(besides, who gives a rat’s patoot - I am thirsty.)
And every place else with coastal salinity.
Really a bright spot on the horizon.
If you would have lots of cheep water in Southern California, what would happen to all the high paid bureaucrats at LADWP and the politicians who get fat from them?
Those guys don't needs 'solutions.' They make big bucks from problems. You trying to rock the boat or something? ;~))
a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawaterCool, refoliate the Sahara (after forced relocation of the entire Muzzie population) and listen to the bitching as the Amazon turns into a desert.
Only if you return the separated salt to the body of water instead of, say, purifying it and selling it on the grocery store spice aisle.
Graphene's going to change the world...
Some of the comments on Yahoo are hysterical about this. What a waste of humainity
It is amazing stuff
Oh come on, the chance of ever de-sal’ing enough water to cause any change in the oceans is pretty far fetched, wouldn’t you say?
Yes, yes, and yes, of course, you are correct.
The argument will still be made, however.
Cheaper desalination technology would be a boon to mankind, but the reporting in this article on how Lockheed-Martin’s advance works is sorely lacking. Salt, or in general any water-soluble ionic substance, is not present in water as molecules, but dissociated as ions (for ordinary salt Na+ and Cl- in equal numbers).
you could also return it to the ocean with the water that comes through the sewage as well without changing conditions at all.
That assumes the salt removed is returned to the ocean.
Being third to say that is what I get for using my cell to freep.
If you extract the salt and you do not drop it back into the ocean, the seawater would remain constant. Of course you would have mountains of salt laying about.
True, but the real situation is that those two highly charged ions are surrounded by a tight cluster of water molecules, bound to the ions by ion-dipole bonds. It is the total size of the cluster than matters.
Really? They call Lockheed, one of the largest companies in the world just a ‘pentagon weapons maker’?
Yep, the question has to be asked - where did the “salt” (and other minerals) come from in the first place? The land. Rain. Rivers. Erosion. Ocean.
Now, an aside. Give the current rate of depositing of salts in the ocean, how “salty” should the ocean be if it were billions of years old?
In certain societal situations,
salt is gold.
The word “salary” comes from the fact that people were paid in salt at one time.
If they could miniaturize this it would be great having one on every lifeboat.
Sure sounds like it might... If this works as advertised, it may be the most revolutionary invention since the computer. Solves a LOT of the potential global warming problems.
FYI, June 2012 article about graphene as an investment.
Lots of other articles out there about companies and their R&D efforts as it relates to graphene.
Well, you could just answer that theoretical lib argument by promising to dump all the town’s wastewater back into the ocean to complete the water cycle. Oops, they wouldn’t like that either, would they?