If ever there was a time for Mexico City to lead the charge in finding new ways to access water, it’s now. While the capital city’s water crisis is pronounced, the growing need for fresh water is something all nations can appreciate. Enter BubbleTech, a low-cost water desalination technology out of Mexico City, Mexico, introduced by Uniaquatech.
BubbleTech technology is based on a mass exchange system for water desalination through a set of rotational discs that generate aqueous membranes, which allow cold evaporation to occur and a subsequent condensation for pure water recovery. Aqueous membranes are produced by the addition of a surfactant agent, which facilitates their formation in the rotary discs and therefore the separation of salt from the aqueous medium. The surfactant agent captures the metallic ions in the solution. Air injection evaporates water through aqueous membranes and it is recovered in a condenser at a purity level of 99.9%.
The main application of this aqueous membranes technology is in industries with great water requirements. Unlike other desalination technologies, BubbleTech can process commercial scale volumes of water with a low energy cost – 50-60% less than reverse osmosis – and with minimum maintenance. Heat applied for evaporation is recirculated, unlike thermal techniques, and it doesn´t need any filter replacement. BubbleTech is a sustainable solution, with high yields and low energy cost to supplying zones with water shortage.
Uniaquatech’s BubbleTech technology reduces the costs of water processing even in high salt concentrations as much as three times ocean salinity. Uniaquatech developed a functional prototype in laboratory scale with a water purification capacity of three times the salt concentration of ocean water, providing a yield of 13-18% of pure water per liter of salt water with a flow outlet of 0.71 L/h. In the next stage of development, a 84,000 L/h flow capacity prototype will be designed, simulated, built and validated.
BubbleTech is patent pending and was validated through a series of tests and experimental protocols by the Center for Research and Technological Development on Electro-Chemistry (CIDETEQ), a highly-specialized research center in Queretaro, Mexico. The main external funding source is Mexican government, through the National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT).
While water shortages and fresh water supply are increasingly serious concerns globally, Uniaquatech hopes to play a role in alleviating both the cost and opportunity for water with BubbleTech. Stay in touch @CaramelTechTCO.