Exceptional ion rejection ability of directional solvent for non-membrane desalination

Daniel Rish, Shirui Luo, Brien Kurtz, Tengfei Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recently demonstrated directional solvent extraction (DSE) is promising for very low temperature, membrane-free water desalination. In this paper, we combine atomistic simulations and experimental validation to demonstrate that the currently used directional solvent, decanoic acid, can reject all major salt ions in seawater, with very high rejection rates. The salinities of the DSE recovered water show that ion rejection rates are ∼98%-99% - similar to those of the best reverse osmosis membranes. Our test also shows that the DSE process can desalt seawater to produce fresh water that meets drinking water standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024102
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 13 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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