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IIT-Madras researchers identify molecular mechanisms for desalination techniques

As India has a long coastline of around 7,000 km, desalinating the seawater has been considered a solution to solve the country’s water woes.

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Chennai: Research at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) have identified the possible molecular mechanisms in water flow through a new nanopore geometry for desalination techniques to convert seawater to drinking water.

The results of the study, which involved Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, and The Netherlands-based Delft University of Technology, are useful in the design of novel RO (reverse osmosis) systems that utilize carbon nanotubes-based membranes.

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The research team took inspiration from nature, specifically biological systems for making efficient desalination membranes.

The study was a sponsored project granted to IIT-Madras by the Department of Science and Technology as part of the Water Technology Initiative (WTI).

As per a report of NITI Aayog, 40 per cent of the Indian population will not have access to drinking water by the year 2030 and 21 major Indian cities, including Chennai and New Delhi, are at risk of running out of groundwater, which will impact around 100 million people.

Scientific communities worldwide are looking out for ways on how saline water in seas and oceans can be converted into fresh water for household and industrial use.

As India has a long coastline of around 7,000 km, desalinating the seawater has been considered a solution to solve the country’s water woes. Though various desalination technologies exist in the market today, the high energy expenditure by these technologies restricts their widespread use, a release from IIT-M said today.

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