MIT Engineers Created a Portable Device that Zaps Seawater to Make Drinking Water squib

Karen Kasmauski

A team of scientists at MIT have created a device that transforms brackish seawater into clean drinking water at the push of a button—and can be especially helpful for people living in seaside places like California who are dealing with climate change-fueled droughts.

The new desalination device (a term used to describe a machine that can remove salt from seawater) is roughly the size of a suitcase, weighs less than 10 kilograms, and uses less energy than a cell phone charger, according to a paper published on April 14 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. At a push of a button, can automatically create potable drinking water that exceeds the World Health Organization’s water quality standards.

“Even a kindergarten student can carry and use the desalination unit,” Junghyo Yoon, a research scientist in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT and co-author of the paper, told The Daily Beast. “[Ease of use] was one of the main motivations of creating the device.”

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