A new energy-efficient, two-stage separation system which produces clean water from the air has been developed by Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, and aims to provide water to small and isolated communities.
Professor David Broday and Professor Eran Friedler from the Environmental, Water and Agricultural Engineering Division of the Technion Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Research Institute (GWRI) have created the system. Unlike existing technology, the Technion researchers’ system is based on a two-stage cyclic process which consists of separating the moisture from the air by absorption using a highly concentrated saline solution, and then separating the moisture from the desiccant under sub-atmospheric pressure conditions.
Professor Friedler explained that existing technologies work simply as reverse air conditioners, by cooling the whole air mass entering the system in order to condense the moisture. He added that such systems waste energy by cooling about 97% of the air volume, which is non-condensable. The new technology involves only cooling the moisture that has been extracted from the air, significantly reducing the amount of energy required.