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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. 


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.”

BBC News

Prof. Elfatih Eltahir speaks with the BBC’s Ed Butler about whether desalination could be an effective remedy for water shortages in the Middle East. Eltahir notes that current desalination methods use “a lot of energy to basically distill water…and could have very high costs and could contribute to the potential for global warming.” 

The Boston Globe

Hiawatha Bray highlights Prof. Amos Winter’s method for purifying groundwater as part of The Boston Globe's "Game Changers" section, which highlights innovators in a variety of fields. “We want to provide clean water to hundreds of millions of people throughout the developing world,” says Winter, “in a way that’s low enough in cost so it can be scaled up and sustained through free-market mechanisms.”

MIT researchers have devised a technique for desalinating water, reports Nina Godlewski for “The process, called shock electrodialysis, filters water through a material made of small glass particles,” writes Godlewski. “When an electric current is introduced to the system, the water divides into areas of high or low salt concentration.”


In an article for Wired about desalination technologies, Eric Niiler features Prof. Rohit Karnik’s work developing single-layer membranes from graphene that could make desalination more efficient. “If we want quantum leaps in performance, we have to look for other materials,” says Karnik.


Eleanor Goldberg writes for The Huffington Post that a team of MIT researchers has developed a solar-powered desalination system that could help bring clean drinking water to rural areas. The researchers hope to eventually release a model that could provide clean drinking water for an entire village, Goldberg reports. 

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick writes that a team of MIT engineers has won the Desal Prize for a solar-powered desalination system they developed. “The system, when fully operational, can supply the basic water needs of a village of between 2,000 and 5,000 people,” Warrick explains. 

NBC News

A team of MIT researchers won the grand prize in a competition that challenged participants to develop sustainable desalination technologies, reports Jeff Daniels reports for NBC News. The MIT researchers designed a solar-powered "electrodialysis reversal system that desalinates water using electricity.”