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Date of Award
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Amar S. Basu
MODIFIED CONTINUOUS FREE-FLOW ELECTROPHORESIS- A STEP TOWARDS
Advisor: Dr. Amar Basu
Major: Electrical Engineering
Degree: Master of Science
One of the most vital resources for human life is fresh water. Only 10 million of
1400 million cubic meters of water on the planet is of low salinity which is suitable for
use after applying conventional water treatment techniques. The growing demand and
an increasing depletion of fresh water have necessitated development of various
technologies to tap this resource. Desalination has been one of the most attractive
techniques to overcome this predicament. The other standard approaches includes,
reverse osmosis and electrodialysis. However, these techniques are extremely
expensive. Hence small scale portable desalination systems providing high throughput
while utilizing minimum power are highly desirable. Here, we demonstrate a novel
technique of separating charged ions which can potentially be used towards
desalination of water.
A simple microfluidic device was designed and used for separating two synthetic
dyes (fluorescein and umbelliferone) with an electric field of 51V/cm depending on their
electrophoretic charges. The separated ions were distinguished based on their
fluorescence emission band. Power consumed by a single unit was measured in the
range of 1.78 - 2.3 mW at a flow rate of 10L/min. Due to its low power consumption
and membrane-less approach, in future, this process can be compared to several other
established desalination techniques.
Doshi, Ankur D., "Modified continuous free-flow electrophoresis- a step towards desalination" (2012). Wayne State University Theses. Paper 154.