State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Engineered Osmosis

Researchers at Yale have developed a water purification system that uses one-tenth the electric energy of  conventional desalination systems.

According to Yale doctoral student Robert McGinnis and his advisor Menachem Elimelech, Chair of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, the process employs

“forward osmosis,” which exploits the natural diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane. Their process “draws” pure water from its contaminants to a solution of concentrated salts, which can easily be removed with low heat treatment — effectively desalinating or removing contaminants from water with little energy input

Yale University is commercializing this desalination technology through a newly-established company, Oasys Water, which received $10 million in funding in mid-February.

Further Reading

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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