Question
Mon February 25, 2013 By:
 

is there no way to change the saline water in oceans to fresh water that we can consume?

Expert Reply
Tue February 26, 2013

Desalination refers to any of several processes that remove some amount of salt and other minerals from saline water. Salt water is desalinated to produce fresh water suitable for human consumption or irrigation.

The traditional process used in these operations is vacuum distillation—essentially the boiling of water at less than atmospheric pressure and thus a much lower temperature than normal.

The principal competing processes use membranes to desalinate, principally applying reverse osmosis technology. Membrane processes use semipermeable membranes and pressure to separate salts from water. Reverse osmosis plant membrane systems typically use less energy than thermal distillation, which has led to a reduction in overall desalination costs over the past decade. However, desalination still remains energy intensive.
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