Desalination: a Solution to drinking water shortage?

I am kind of swamped now days…I am presenting next week in Northeast Bioengineering Conference at Syracuse NY on my research…I know it’s awesome! But I am freaking out…I have to speak in front of people and believe me I am not a big fan of that…but it’s a conference presentation and hey I am doing PhD on this awesome ‘ground breaking ‘research that I love! So I will do my best, I promise! Ha ha!

In my biomimetics class, things are moving fast. We have already finished 6(or 7?) chapters… (Oh god I am losing track but that’s not important!… :)) Now that we have only month or so left we have to work on our final project. The final project is about finding a biomimetic solution for water management (examples: filtration, conservation). The class is divided into 2groups of 3 students and 1group of 4 students and we are working on the problem related to the water management. My group has me, Ross and Nicole. Last week we were ‘brainstorming’ about what we can do and came up with 3 different ideas but interestingly all our ideas can be interlinked and can be used together.

I will explain my idea here. I was thinking about solving the drinking water problem and obviously the first thing came to my mind was sea water desalination. I know it’s not novel idea. I mean look at earth 65% of earth is water and that is sea water. We even have saying in India which goes like this: samudri chahukade pani pinyala thembhi nahi…which means there is so much water in sea but not a single drop is drinkable…Many research groups are working on it. (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=desalination+bacteria+aquaporins&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C39&as_ylo=2012 ) There is a research journal called desalination.

Our project is to come up with biomimetic solution to filter sea water to make it drinkable. One biomimetic lead was to look at some bacteria which converts sea water into fresh water or some marine animals who live in sea and have to deal with sea water all the time. That’s when Nicole (she is awesome!!!)  came up with these sea turtles. These sea turtles have glands which balance salt concentration. (check out her blog: http://nicolemazouchova.wordpress.com/)  We could design a filter based on this mechanism.  

Let’s see how far we can go…!

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One thought on “Desalination: a Solution to drinking water shortage?

  1. Mughda, such a great post! I love the saying you have in India about water. Perhaps you would also be interested in a poem by Samuel Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” in which he says the following:
    Water, water, every where,
    And all the boards did shrink;
    Water, water, every where,
    Nor any drop to drink.

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