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Engineering Materials
Composite Conducts Heat to Remove Salt From Seawater
10/25/2012

A new composite material for saltwater desalination plant pipelines may help bring down the cost of the process.   (Source: Fraunhofer IFAM)
A new composite material for saltwater desalination plant pipelines may help bring down the cost of the process.
(Source: Fraunhofer IFAM)

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jmiller
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Re: In search of fresh water
jmiller   11/29/2012 10:08:49 PM
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I'd like to see technology implemented as soon as possible. But I don't have a lot of faith in our current economic model.  I struggle to support continual government funding to in some cases force development in an area that might not be viable.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: In search of fresh water
Ann R. Thryft   11/6/2012 2:44:53 PM
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jmiller, personally I'd rather see technology get implemented sooner rather than later for several reasons: makes more people aware of it, gets accepted faster, and helps bring down costs sooner, among them. Government tax breaks can help all these happen. At least using our current economic model, it's higher volumes in manufacturing that can help to make things more affordable.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: In search of fresh water
Ann R. Thryft   11/5/2012 3:25:53 PM
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There are a lot of DIY rain barrel systems around, at least where I live. A DIY graywater system is a great idea for a Gadget Freak column.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: In search of fresh water
Ann R. Thryft   11/5/2012 12:19:48 PM
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jmiller, thanks for the comment--I enjoy reporting and writing articles that showcase engineers who've designed something with innovation and ingenuity, which can make major improvements in our lives, too.

NadineJ
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Re: In search of fresh water
NadineJ   10/31/2012 5:38:17 PM
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I haven't read anything definitive about why the strawberries aren't as tasty or nutritious.  But just taking the salt out doesn't turn seawater into freshwater.  It may be drinkable but it's not the same.

Maybe a Gadget Freak will come up with something for grey water or capturing rain water for the lawn.

Mydesign
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Re: Sea water purification
Mydesign   10/31/2012 12:23:12 AM
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Ann, RO water purifications are commonly implemented with house hold water purifiers. It's a five stage purification method and so far I had not seen it with any large scale implementation.  If my knowledge is right, Arab countries are implemented multi stage flash distillation method, where water is heating and reheating multiple times. Now there are some new technologies like osmosis technologies (Reverse, Forward), Electro dialysis and Distillation methods like Thermal Distillation, Multi-Effect distillation etc are implemented in certain countries.

jmiller
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Re: In search of fresh water
jmiller   10/30/2012 9:51:12 PM
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I do agree with the idea of tax breaks to encourage developement of technologies that make things better or cheaper.  But I struggle with tax breaks for homeowners just to put in the solutions.  I'd rather see the government spending money to make things more affordable, rather than giving us money to use products that aren't financially viable right now.

jmiller
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Re: Desalination
jmiller   10/30/2012 9:43:56 PM
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I do agree there are areas we shouldn't be.  However, it's interesting how many people choose to live there.  In the case of a lot of cities, more and more people are living in a n area that just can't support the population.  In the case of some cities, we have literally built in areas below sea level.  In the end, sometimes, I think every time we build a solution to a problem.  The world finds a way to build a bigger idiot.

jmiller
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Re: In search of fresh water
jmiller   10/30/2012 9:39:21 PM
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So why aren't the strawberries as good. Is the water quality not as good? Did some of the salt not get our of the water? I agree with the idea of using grey water because that would be available in a lot more of the middle United States. But I'm also curious with some of the problems being experienced with current systems.

jmiller
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Re: In search of fresh water
jmiller   10/30/2012 9:34:48 PM
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I think often problems like this are solved by going through a set of steps where the technology to solve the problem is solved and then economics come in and are improved and then the technology to solve the problem is improved and then the economics come in.  It's a cycle of improvement that ends up developing a final solution.    It's fun for me to watch because it just shows the never give up attitude of engineers. 

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