AquaSonics International, based in Atlanta, Ga., has developed a desalination process which it says can provide safe drinking water for poor countries at a fraction of the cost of other methods -- rapid spray evaporation (RSE)
"The company has produced portable units capable of converting up to 11,000 liters of water a day and is now scaling up the technology for much larger desalination plants," New Scientist magazine reported yesterday.
The new process does not force salt water through a fine filter in a procedure known as reverse osmosis, nor use traditional desalination methods.
"RSE ejects the salt water through a nozzle into a stream of heated air, forming a mist of droplets which vaporize almost instantly," according to the magazine.
Solid flakes of salt fall to the bottom of the container during the process and can be collected.
Henry Lloyd, the chief of AquaSonics, told the magazine the operating costs of RSE are about one-third those of conventional desalination methods alone.
"Our process attains near 100 percent efficiency for recovery of fresh water," he said.