BOB HIRSHON (host):
Fresh water from power plants. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
US power plants use up 39% of the country’s freshwater supply to cool down hot pipes, and much of it evaporates and is lost. This according to MIT engineer Kripa Varanasi and his colleagues, writing in Science Advances. They’ve developed a technique that electrifies water droplets so they can be collected on an ionized mesh and recycled before they escape out the smokestack.
KRIPA VARANASI (MIT):
They actually make a U-turn and get collected on the mesh.
He says the technology could conserve precious water supplies. And in arid coastal areas where power plants use seawater for cooling, the technology could be particularly useful: Varanasi explains that evaporating seawater results in freshwater vapor, which the nets can capture to produce a new source of drinking water. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.