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Can salt water be desalinated with nanobots?

  1. Apr 5, 2017 #1
    Here is a challenge,
    Can you desalinate saltwater simply by:
    1) magnetizing the water (which will change the composition)
    2) then using nanobots to separate the compositions.

    This will enable inexpensive desalination of salt water, through inexpensive means.
    Fresh water is diminishing every day, and we have an abundance of salt water. This means of de-salination will work almost instantly, providing a stream of water continuously without steaming, heating, etc.

    Has anyone tried it? or is willing to take on the challenge
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I have a better approach: use magic! Then again, this is basically the approach you are proposing :smile:
  4. Apr 6, 2017 #3
    Saltwater nanobots have not been made yet. They would rust being robots and all. Snicker.
  5. Apr 6, 2017 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Right. I'm pretty sure if I invented nanobots, I'd find another use for them besides desalination.
  6. Apr 6, 2017 #5
    1 No, water does not have any special magnetic properties, water subjected to a magnetic field does not change composition.
    2 Therefore is not feasible, whatever kind of nanobot you are thinking of.
  7. Apr 8, 2017 #6


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    Science Advisor

    AL168. Welcome to PF.

    Firstly, to desalinate water requires a source of energy. You must buy that energy, or buy something to collect that energy.

    1) magnetizing the water (which will change the composition)
    The problem is that the NaCl still has an ionic bond and so is neutral when in solution. You would not be able to easily use a magnet to separate the ions from a saline fluid moving through a magnetic field. It takes energy to break that bond and separate the ions.

    2) then using nanobots to separate the compositions.[/QUOTE]
    If nanobots were used they would need to receive energy to perform the desalination.
    It is more probable that a bacteria could be genetically modified to bind sodium in sunlight. Would that be a nanobot?
  8. Apr 8, 2017 #7
    At some point there certainly is fuzziness,
    What really is the difference between a calculated chemical reaction, and a mechanical method that produces the same result.
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