Today more than 1 billion people face the daily crisis trying of trying to find clean drinking water. Environmentalists predict that water as a commodity will become very valuable and increasingly expensive in years to come. In fact, some believe that in 30 years a gallon of clean water will cost more than a gallon of oil. Considering that only 3% of the world's water is fresh water, this idea might not be so far fetched.
Shown above, famous inventor Dean Kaman's goal was to create a small portable machine that could be placed anywhere and at point-of-use create clean, reliable drinking water from any source. His device, named SlingShot, can make distilled drinking water from anything wet, whether it be ocean water, sludge, or sewage. Liquid goes into the SlingShot where it is boiled until it becomes steam. Once the steam is re-condensed the result is pure distilled water. If the liquid coming in contains metals or other inorganic toxins, they will not vaporize.
Until now nobody has been able to create this effect in a portable machine, because of the energy intensive distillation process. The secret of the SlingShot is that it uses a closed loop of energy. Once the first batch of water is vaporized and re-condensed, all the energy is preserved in a sealed heat exchange system. In other words, the SlingShot runs on less energy than a toaster oven and has been designed to make 1000L of water per day, which is enough for a village of 100 people.
During the summer of 2006, a pair of SlingShot devices worked successfully in a village in Honduras. Although initial devices cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, Kamen hopes that increased economies of scale will allow production machines to be made available for $2000 each.