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Solving the global water crisis with nanofluidic bipolar capacitive diodes

Water is our planet’s most precious resource, but rapid population growth and environmental impacts from globalization have made it a scarcity in many regions. Desalination is one important tool in the fight to boost our planet’s supply of clean freshwater, but current desalination technologies remain out of reach for most developing nations due to the immense amount of energy required to convert seawater into potable water.

Indian young girl drawing water from a well, Rajasthan
Indian young girl drawing water from a well. When she finishes drawing water from the well, she will carry water on the head to the village. Rajasthani women and also children often walk long distances through the desert to bring back jugs of water that they carry on their heads . Thar Desert, Rajasthan. India.

A new nanotechnology coming out of UC Irvine has shown huge promise in dramatically reducing the inefficiency and resource drain currently embedded in the desalination process. Recognizing its potential for global impact, GeoBlue Technology is working tirelessly to make this world-changing innovation a reality–first for the people of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta who are experiencing an untenable rise in their water supply’s salinity content, and then ultimately for those in other regions that are similarly facing the devastating humanitarian, political, and environmental effects of water insecurity.

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For those in the know, impacts from globalization have raised serious doubts over the ability of our planet’s freshwater supply to indefinitely sustain human, plant, and animal life, and researchers are hard on the trail of finding a safe, secure and energy efficient way to purify water from less than ideal sources.

According to analysts with Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, when it comes to global drinking water supplies, a “perfect storm” is approaching. According to the report, half of the world’s population will be dealing with “water stress” conditions by 2030. “Water stress” is defined as when the available amount of water is exceeded by demand. Further, by 2050, 45% of projected GDP could be at risk, with as many as 50 nations expected to be involved in conflicts over water.

Vietnam-MekongDeltaThe growing difficulty in accessing clean freshwater is evident in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, where increasing pollutant content and salinity of the water supply is impacting low-lying coastal villages and rice paddy fields. Desalination is a potential solution here, but the technology has traditionally remained out of reach for developing nations due to the immense amount of energy required to convert seawater into potable water.

We at GeoBlue are working tirelessly to commercialize a new nanotechnology being developed by UC Irvine here in Southern California. UC Irvine’s key innovation is a new type of nanofiltration membrane under development which promises to reduce the energy-intensity of removing salt from water at an unprecedented rate.

Our mission is to work in partnership with the university to achieve our mission: to make off-grid, wind-powered deployable desalination units to places like Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, where their population would benefit greatly from cheap, renewable water.

Water is our mission. Proper stewardship is our commitment.