Faculty Mentor/s:
Carlos Romero, Energy Research Center


Students on the team: 

Adam Belkin-Rosen ‘25

Dianareli Dolores ‘25

Jon Osika ‘25

Zachary Ostrand ‘26


Project Description:

Four billion people — half of the world's population — experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year. Roughly 70% of the world’s fresh water is used for agriculture, and by 2030, there will be a 40% reduction in the world’s freshwater resources. Desalination is a technologically-viable approach to bolstering global water security by converting the world’s largest reservoir of water, the ocean, into an alternative water supply. However, traditional large-scale desalination plants require tremendous amounts of energy, and need significant capital investment, physical space, expertise, and operating and maintenance costs to operate properly. This team will explore whether low-temperature Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD) technology driven by solar energy can be harnessed to build affordable, small-scale, and modular desalination plants for domestic and agricultural purposes in the Philippines. One sub-team will conduct lab research and build prototypes, while the other sub-team will explore how the technology can be field-tested, productized, and ultimately commercialized in collaboration with various partners in the Philippines.


Month/Year Project Began:
January 2023