Water desalination is very important in areas where earthquakes, tsunamis or other natural catastrophes occurred. Usually, these areas are located near the sea or the ocean, and desalinizing the water could definitely save lives.
A company called Renew Blue, Inc. will use wave power to run a desalination plant in Freeport, Texas. The resulted water will be finally put into corn-based biodegradable plastic bottles. The SEADOG power system is made from a buoy which puts in motion a piston mechanism that rotates a water wheel to generate electricity.
Robert McGinnis, Yale doctoral student and Menachem Elimelech, Chair of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, have developed systems that can harness the power of osmosis to transform non-potable water sources like seawater to freshwater and generate in the same time electricity.
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has found out a greener way to desalinize sea water. It uses carbon nanotubes which have pores that are 100,000 times smaller than a human hair, and were able to determine the rejection mechanism within the pores.