[Researcher of the Month] Adsorption Desalination, a Road to Innovative Desalination
Professor Kim Young-deuk (Department of Mechanical Engineering, ERICA Campus)
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Desalination is the process of removing salt from seawater, which is refined and utilized for human consumption and irrigation. As many parts of the world suffer from water scarcity, the significance of desalination technology is increasing. There are several ways of performing desalination, but the most widely used ones are Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Forward Osmosis (FO), as they are more economical. However, Professor Kim Young-deuk (Department of Mechanical Engineering, ERICA Campus) is looking beyond those methods as he digs deeper into desalination through evaporation.
Adsorption desalination is a method of desalination which employs low-temperature waste heat as its energy source. It is one of the subfields of desalination, in which evaporation is triggered through the adsorption of heat. According to Kim, this method of desalination has three advantages compared to RO and FO desalination. First, the technology can work not only for desalination, but also for air-conditioning. It can also reduce energy use, consuming less than half of what RO and FO currently require. Finally, it is cost-effective as there is less of a need for big-scale infrastructure.
“The source technology of desalination is further developed in other countries,” explained Kim. “And we pay royalty for its use. What I am trying goes along with the government’s policy to localize essential source technology.” Kim is now working on showing more visible performance as his team was nominated as one of the final three for the ‘Alchemist Project,’ a national project launched by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in order to support the research and development of innovative technology.
Kim started his project on this topic at the time he came to Hanyang as a professor, which he learned from his postdoctoral fellowship. He commented that his research is still in its early stage, but he is hopeful that the technology will bring a paradigm shift in terms of efficiency and utility.
At the end of the interview, Kim advised the students of Hanyang to challenge and experience as much as possible. “Assuming that you are well-founded on your professional knowledge, you should go beyond and overcome your limits,” said Kim. “It will help you apply your knowledge into a new field and find a niche market.”
Oh Kyu-jin email@example.com
Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon
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