An anonymous reader writes "German researchers have developed a battery that can remove sodium and chloride ions from seawater. In theory, their invention could be far more energy efficient than thermal desalination or reverse osmosis. This would cut the cost of using salt water for drinking or irrigation. It could also be used to make compact desalination systems for boats and life rafts, or crops. Each battery is made with manganese oxide nanorod electrodes, which absorb sodium when an electrical current passes through them. When the current is reversed, they dump the sodium ions out into waste water."
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