question

noone noone at nowhere.org
Sun Jan 11 13:07:31 EST 2004


Could one of you more knowledgable than I on the subject rate the following 
idea somewhere between utter science fantasy and coming soon to a walmart near 
you.

Designing, either by breeding or more exotic forms of genetic tampering, a 
plant that basically performs reverse osmosis desalinization of saltwater.  I 
visualize a basically cylindrical plant that would lie horizontally like a 
vine.  One end would be in the sea or in other saltwater, the other would be 
providing desalinated water.  The plant would provide the mechanical action to 
both suck in the saltwater at one end and to provide the necessary pressure for 
the osmosis.  Osmosis would take place from the outside of the cylinder inwards 
so that the center of the vine would be used for desalinated water transport.

The vine would have leaves to provide photosynthesis (or some more efficient 
solar energy conversion system). 

Salt disposal would probably be a big problem.  Only way I can imagine handling 
it is to migrate concentrated brine to the extreme outer layers of the vine so 
that salts could excreted to the outside. 

Anyway, this idea came up during a discussion of low cost desalinization 
techniques.  I don't really know too much about the state of the art of plant 
design, or whether such a discipline even exists yet.

Serious replies are appreciated. :)




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