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Nearly 900 million people around the world lack access to safe drinking water, according to the World Health Organization. Innovative technologies can increase the global supply of affordable water for drinking, sanitation, agriculture, industry, and energy applications.
To address this problem, SRI has patented several technologies, including new materials and specialized membranes. Innovations, some of which are available for license, include the following:
Water purification: SRI's approach to photocatalytic materials costs less and is faster than conventional UV light-based systems and chemical-based water purification technologies. The simplicity and portability of this technology makes it an appealing alternative for several applications.
Desalination: To convert salt water into drinkable water, SRI is exploring forward osmosis—a promising, low-power, and low-cost alternative to current approaches.
Sludge decontamination: SRI's assisted hydrothermal oxidation technology and other techniques offer ways to treat contaminated water in municipal-scale systems and clean up industrial or medical waste.
Modifications by SRI enhance function and durability of affordable purification material.
For the Department of Energy, SRI and partners studied methane hydrate deposits in the Gulf of Mexico.
SRI is developing small, highly sensitive arrays for pervasive monitoring of chemical and biological processes in the ocean and other environments.