Energy & Green Tech

Extracting uranium from seawater as another source of nuclear fuel

Oceans cover most of Earth's surface and support a staggering number of lifeforms, but they're also home to a dilute population of uranium ions. And—if we can get these particular ions out of the water—they could be a ...


Getting smart about off-grid desalination

Small changes in membrane design can have a large impact on the performance of a new technology developed at KAUST that uses waste heat from solar cells for seawater desalination.


Solar-powered desalination unit shows great promise

Despite the vast amount of water on Earth, most of it is nonpotable seawater. Freshwater accounts for only about 2.5% of the total, so much of the world experiences serious water shortages.

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Seawater is water from a sea or ocean. On average, seawater in the world's oceans has a salinity of about 3.5%. This means that every 1 kg of seawater has approximately 35 grams of dissolved salts (mostly, but not entirely, the ions of sodium chloride: Na+, Cl-). The average density of seawater at the surface of the ocean is 1.025 g/ml; seawater is denser than freshwater (which reaches a maximum density of 1.000 g/ml at a temperature of 4°C) because of the added mass of the salts. The freezing point of sea water decreases with increasing salinity and is about -2°C (28.4°F) at 35 gram per liter.

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