Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Using Sound to Desalinate Water

  • Photo: Shelley Dormont ‘11
    Photo: Shelley Dormont ‘11

Thomas R. Newman
Sponsor: Steven Alexander, Associate Professor of Physics
Gerald Wade, Coordinator of Science Facilities and Equipment

Our project’s focus is to determine the energy efficiency of using a sound-producing device to pump water through a reverse osmosis filter, specifically to desalinate brine.  This is a relevant concern in many places that do not have access to potable water and are looking for less energy intensive ways to power the devices that pump and purify their water supplies.  Through the design and testing of various frequencies, materials and temperatures of the desalinization unit we examine the most effective structure given the confines of time and technology in an attempt to improve upon the standard mechanical pump process that is presently utilized.  Looking beyond this process, it would be ideal if our results lead to a reproducible portable version of this mechanism powered by renewable solar or wind energy thereby providing instant access to clean water.