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Desalination

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The Boston Globe

Gradiant, an MIT startup founded by Anurag Bajpayee PhD ’12, S.M. ‘08 and Prakash Govindan PhD ’12, has developed an energy efficient system that purifies water by mimicking natural rainfall cycles, reports Aaron Pressman for The Boston Globe. “Nature has the advantage of having all the surface area of the oceans available freely and a free source of energy from the sun,” Govindan said. “We have to engineer this into a compact, highly efficient, and energy-efficient industrial device.”

Power Magazine

Infinite Cooling, an MIT startup, is developing a new system that can capture water from cooling tower plumes and could significantly reduce water consumption in evaporative cooling tower systems, reports Sonal Patel for Power Magazine. “The technology that is developed could lead to significant water savings and improve water quality with minimal energy cost,” explained members of Prof. Kripa Varanasi’s lab.

Voice of America

In this video, VOA reporter Steve Baragona looks at different methods of harvesting water from fog. Baragona highlights a new system developed by MIT researchers, explaining that in some areas where the water supply is dwindling, “the technology is far cheaper than other options like desalination.”

Bloomberg

MIT graduates Maher Damak and Karim Khalil discuss their startup Infinite Cooling and the new technique they developed to capture and recycle water expelled from power plant cooling towers on Bloomberg Baystate Business. Co-host Tom Moroney calls this energy efficient method that captures up to 80 percent of the water, an “idea that could change the world.”

Xinhuanet

Xinhua reports that MIT engineers have developed a new method of harvesting water from industrial cooling towers that could decrease the operating cost of power plants. Eventually the new method could also be used to harvest, “safe drinking water for coastal cities where seawater is used to cool local power plants.”

IEEE Spectrum

Writing for IEEE Spectrum, David Wagman spotlights a new technology from MIT researchers that could offer water-scarce cities, “a new source of the precious resource” by capturing and reusing water from cooling towers. Prof. Kripa Varanasi notes that their system, “can achieve on the order of 99 percent efficiency,” in capturing the water droplets.

Boston Globe

MIT researchers have developed a system that captures water from power plant cooling towers, writes Martin Finucane for The Boston Globe. Finucane explains that, “the captured water would be pure, distilled water and could be piped to a city’s water system or it could be used in the power plant’s boilers, which, unlike the cooling system, require clean water.”

Wired

MIT researchers developed an electrically charged fog collector that can attract and collect more water droplets than a regular fog harvester, writes Matt Simon for Wired. The technology could eventually be used to recover water from power plant cooling towers where it can, “capture the plumes and collect that water,” explains Prof. Kripa Varanasi.

The Verge

In an article for The Verge, Angela Chen highlights a new technique developed by MIT researchers to harvest water from fog. In the future, the researchers hope to place the harvesters, “near cooling plumes to collect and reuse water that would otherwise be lost.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters writes that MIT researchers have developed a system that captures large amounts of water from the cooling towers used on power plants and data centers. Prof. Kripa Varanasi explains that he hopes this new technology can be used to address water scarcity: “We are thinking of each of these cooling towers as water farms.”

Scientific American

Melissa Lott writes for Scientific American that MIT researchers have created a device that generates steam using sunlight and does not require mirrors or lenses to concentrate the sun’s heat. The device could provide an “inexpensive option for applications ranging from the large scale (e.g. desalination and wastewater treatment) to smaller applications (e.g. residential water heating).”

Fox News

FOX News reporter Rob Verger writes that MIT scientists have created a new device that can boil water without electricity. The device can “heat water to 212 degrees under just the heat of the sun, and could be used for applications like sterilizing medical tools in settings without electricity.”

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Technology have created a new bubble-wrapped, sponge-like device that can turn water into steam using energy from the sun, reports Mary Beth Griggs for Popular Science. The researchers hope that the design “could one day be used as a component in small desalination or wastewater treatment plants.”

IEEE Spectrum

IEEE Spectrum reporter Charles Choi writes that researchers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Technology have developed a new floating system that can boil water using energy from the sun. "Our demonstration shows a new approach to producing low-cost solar thermal devices," explains graduate student George Ni. 

Science

Writing for Science, Robert Service describes how MIT researchers have developed an inexpensive, bubble-wrapped device that could help purify water in developing countries. The device was able to “boil and distill water with no extra solar concentrator,” Service explains, which could pave the way for the development of “large-area solar stills for about one-twentieth the cost of conventional technology.”