Francisco Suarez, University of Nevada, Reno (image) University of Nevada, Reno Share Print E-Mail Caption Francisco Suarez is developing an artificial salt-gradient stratification process that traps solar heat at the bottom of the solar pond and uses the collected energy to power a membrane distillation system recently patented by the University of Nevada, Reno. The system desalinates water using the specialized low-cost solar pond powered by renewable energy. The system is designed to help sustain the ecosystems of closed-basin lakes regions where there is no outflow for water and a high evaporation rate, leaving a high concentration of minerals and salts in the lakes. The hot brine in the lower storage zone of the pond, which can reach temperatures greater than 195 degrees Fahrenheit, may then be used directly for heating, thermal desalination, or for other low-temperature thermal applications. Credit Photo by Mike Wolterbeek Usage Restrictions None Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.