Safe Drinking Water from Diesel Exhaust

A new condensation process being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory can recover water from burning diesel fuel. The process is efficient enough that it can produce up to 85% of water per unit of diesel while removing contamination and impurities making the water suitable for human consumption. The approach could also be adapted for other uses like capturing vapor from power plant exhaust.

Water that is produced from condensation and used fuel is nothing new. Earlier approaches where rejected by the military for being costly and impractical. Back then, it required cooling the exhaust to enable the water to condense. That approach required extra equipment that is heavy. This new system, however, can take water molecules even while in its vapor phase, doing away with the earlier requirement and other costs and inconveniences.

This improvement is achieved by having a series of ceramic tubes and running the diesel exhaust through it. These tubes have microscopic pores that suck water vapor, channeling them to the other side. Using this capillary action, the membrane is able to condense the water from the exhaust.

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