Disclosed is a method that achieves water desalination by utilizing and optimizing clathrate hydrate phenomena. Clathrate hydrates are crystalline compounds of gas and water that desalinate water by excluding salt molecules during crystallization. Contacting a hydrate forming gaseous species with water will spontaneously form hydrates at specific temperatures and pressures through the extraction of water molecules from the bulk phase followed by crystallite nucleation. Subsequent dissociation of pure hydrates yields fresh water and, if operated correctly, allows the hydrate-forming gas to be efficiently recycled into the process stream.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The United States Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation.