Water is a necessity for all living things. Water is fundamental component of cells and is essential for various biological processes. Water serves as a medium for the transport of nutrients in both plants and animals. In plants, water is crucial for the uptake of minerals from the soil and their movement within the plant. For humans, access to clean and safe drinking water is crucial for survival and good health. Lack of clean water can lead to waterborne diseases and other health issues.
According to a study conducted at the University of Bath, Swansea, and Edinburgh students found a breakthrough method to supply drinking water to disaster zones with limited electrical power. Unlike your typical way of reverse osmosis where a high pressure pump is used to increase the pressure on the salt from the seawater so that the salt can be extracted from the water. The water is then forced to cross semi-permeable RO membrane. The primary purpose of an RO membrane is to selectively allow the passage of water molecules while preventing the passage of contaminants. In the students’ approach they use a small amount of electrical power to draw the ions to go though the membrane which also bring the water molecules with them. This also reduces the risk for membrane clogging but also less electrical power. The Professor Frank Marken also stated that with this breakthrough they could also be able to use it in the medical field by such as applications for dosing systems like insulin. This refers to the adaptability of the technology for medical use. The process, which utilizes a small amount of electrical energy to move ions through a membrane, could be miniaturized and applied to create precise dosing systems. The method allows for precise control over the movement of ions through the membrane. In a medical context, this could translate to a highly controlled and precise dosing mechanism. For medications like insulin, where accuracy is crucial to manage blood sugar levels effectively, such precision is highly desirable
In AP Biology, We tried to use the principles of osmosis to determine different concentrations of various unlabeled solutions. In osmosis, water moves through the membrane to equalize the concentration of solute on both sides. The driving force behind osmosis is the difference in concentration, commonly referred to as the concentration gradient. The side with lower solute concentration is often called hypotonic, while the side with higher solute concentration is hypertonic. There are three main types of solutions based on their osmotic pressure and their effects on cells, isotonic solution, hypertonic solution, and hypotonic solution. The direction of water movement in osmosis is influenced by the relative concentrations of solutes on either side of the membrane. Water moves from areas of lower solute concentration (hypotonic) to areas of higher solute concentration (hypertonic) until equilibrium is reached. With the principles of osmosis we then would calculate each different solution to find the water potential. This scientific breakthrough of being able to make seawater into drinkable water with less electrical power is breathtaking. Not only does this new technique use a small amount of electrical energy. This makes the process more energy-efficient and reduces energy waste. This method could be applied on a smaller scale, making it suitable for areas where there is a need for drinking water but limited infrastructure for example, deserts and other remote areas which can help people who can not obtain fresh drinkable water a bigger chance to obtain water. Can you think of any other places that can benefit from this experiment?