Green at WIRED NextFest: High-Volume, Small-Footprint, Low-Cost Water Purification

XEROX/PARC Spiral Water Filtration Technology
A typical water-treatment plant is very big and very expensive. XEROX's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) has come up with a new technology that could make the whole process cheaper and simpler, potentially making life better for millions.

Read on for more details.
How Does it Work?
PARC explains:

Our approach uses a careful balance of hydrodynamic and centrifugal forces as water flows through a spiral channel.

After flowing through the device, particles are moved controllably to one wall of the channel, where they can be shunted off in a waste stream. More than 90% of the water emerges without particles from the other side of the channel.

By cascading a number of spiral devices in succession, and re-circulating the waste stream, it is possible to reduce the rejected water to below 5%. In addition, we have demonstrated a 50% reduction in coagulant dosage.

All particles above 5 microns in size can be removed from the liquid, and this is true for particles with specific gravities above, equal to, and below 1.

When it comes out of the spiral system, the water is almost drinkable. It might need a bit more treatment, but PARC is working on improving things further.

For a typical 20MGD installation, PARC's water spiral technology is estimated to reduce capital cost by 39%, operations and maintenance cost by 30%, and land use by 58%.

WIRED NextFest 2008
WIRED NextFest is taking place in Chicago's Millenium Park between Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, October 12. It is free and open to the public. Just look for the big blue tent.

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Tags: Desalination | Drinking Water | Water Conservation