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Deluge Desalination Taps Geothermal, Solar Thermal - A Phoenix inventor said he has developed a new way to economically take salt out of water, and it depends on a readily available resource - hot water.
Deluge Desalination Taps Geothermal, Solar Thermal - A Phoenix inventor said he has developed a new way to economically take salt out of water, and it depends on a readily available resource - hot water.

An directory of Desalination technologies and resources.



Desalination refers to any of several processes (e.g. reverse osmosis) that remove the excess salt and other minerals from water in order to obtain fresh water suitable for animal consumption or irrigation, and if almost all of the salt is removed, for human consumption, sometimes producing table salt as a by-product. Desalination of ocean water is common in the Middle East (because of water scarcity) and the Caribbean, and is growing fast in the USA, North Africa, Spain, Australia and China. It is used also on ships, submarines and islands.

Desalination of brackish water is done in the United States in order to meet treaty obligations for river water entering Mexico. Several Middle Eastern countries have energy reserves so great that they use desalinated water for agriculture. Saudi Arabia's desalination plants account for about 24% of total world capacity. The world's largest desalination plant is the Shoaiba Desalination Plant in Saudi Arabia. It uses multi-stage flash distillation, and it is capable of producing 150 million cubic meters of water per year.


  • Top 100 / Featured / Videos: River / Water >
    Video: Markovic Self-Propelled (SP) River Pump - We've produced a new video about Vladimir Markovic's Top 100 river pump -- a very clever, simple, robust design now going into production that can be used to pump water, generate electricity, desalinate water, all from slow-moving water without the need to build a dam. (YouTube: PESNetwork; Jan. 22, 2009)
  • A fresh way to take the salt out of water - Saltworks uses solar energy or waste heat to concentrate sea water. They then use the ionic gradient between the concentrated brine and two sea-water streams to pull ions from from a 3rd sea-water stream, apparently trading the reduced entropy of the desalinated water against the increased entropy of 'mixing' the brine and the other sea-water streams. (Economist; Oct. 29, 2009)
  • A Low-Energy Water Purifier - Oasys estimates that engineered osmosis (not reverse osmosis), will cost just $0.37 to $0.44 per cubic meter, once fully scaled up, using one-tenth the energy needed to purify water, required by conventional systems using a pilot-scale plant to test the technology and producing one cubic meter of fresh water per day from either sea or brackish water. (MIT Technology Review; Jan. 8, 2009)
  • Solar powered water desalination - Spectra Watermakers' portable Solar Cube is powered by sunlight and wind, and can provide up to 3,500 gallons of clean drinking water per day from polluted water or salt water. It can also provide enough emergency electricity to refrigerate medical supplies or power communications equipment. (Inside Greentech; Mar. 7, 2007)
  • Seawater Brine Recycling Technology - IES Tech's recycling of seawater brine (industrial waste) eliminates the pollution resulting from desalination plants, double the drinking water quantity and receive the valuable minerals as magnesium and high quality table salt. The technology is fully developed and tested, a demo unit is in function showing all the aspects of this technology.
  • Wave-Powered Desalination - Design harnesses the renewable energy of waves to produce fresh water. Production versions of the "desalination ducks" would be about 10 meters in diameter and 20 meters long. Each would supply water for more than 20,000 people. (New Scientist Tech; Nov. 7, 2006) (See Slashdot discussion
  • Cheaper, better water desalination using 'forward osmosis' - A forward osmosis system developed at Yale causes water flow through a membrane with a high-concentration solution of ammonia (NH3) and CO2 on the gathering side, which are then boiled off. (Environmental Science and Technology; May 3, 2006)
  • Lebanon may start using the sun to get fresh water - Lebanon might soon look toward the sky for its freshwater but the drops won't be coming from the clouds. Project in which a desalination plant will be designed, powered by a solar pond along the seashore line. (Daily Star, Lebanon; Jan. 26, 2005)
  • Sea Solar Power - Ocean Thermal Electric Conversion company technology includes a water desalinization byproduct of millions of gallons per day. (PESWiki)
  • O/U Water Desalinization > Clean Water Products - patented technology by Dr. Cluff can desalinize water without using chemicals at just $300 / acre-foot, producing 60,000 gallons per day, recovering salt and minerals valued at up to $600 per acre-foot.
  • Cheap Drinking Water from the Ocean - Carbon nanotube-based membranes, being developed by the U.S.' Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will dramatically cut the cost of desalination. Tiny sieve actually conveys water much faster than science would predict. (MIT Technology Review; June 12, 2006)
  • Oxen power desalination unit - Desalination unit in remote India is run with the help of a pair of oxen using an indigenously developed reverse osmosis membrane. (, Sept. 11, 2004)
  • Hydrogen Production >
    Salt Water System Could Generate Hydrogen - Researchers at the University of Salerno in Italy suggest that flowing salt water could generate an electromotive force, which in turn could generate an electric power output. At one electrode, water is split to oxygen and hydrogen gas. At the other electrode, chlorine gas is produced. (PhysOrg; March 18th, 2009)


Research & Development

  • Water > Desalination >
    A New Tool for Desalination: Sewer Waters, Storm Runoff - A novel technique being developed at the University of Nevada Reno is experimenting with a method that essentially harnesses the hidden power of waste streams to turn sea or swamp water into something you could possibly drink; could drastically cut the energy needed for desalination. (GreenTechMedia ; May 18, 2011)
  • Hydrogen > Fuel Cells / Water > Desalination >
    Simultaneously Desalinating Water, Making Hydrogen And Treating Wastewater - Researchers from the University of Colorado are researching methods for practically incorporating desalination into microbial fuel cells in a way that can treat wastewater and produce electricity simultaneously. Next steps for the team will include using real wastewater to test the efficiency as well as optimizing the reactor configuration to improve system performance. (Energy Daily; December 6, 2010)
  • Process to clean wastewater also produces electricity and desalinates water - An international team of researchers has proven a process that cleans wastewater can also remove 90 percent of salt from brackish water or seawater while generating electricity. This is done by modifying a microbial fuel cell – a device that uses naturally occurring bacteria to convert wastewater into clean water - so it could also desalinate salty water. (GizMag; August 17, 2009)

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