My 7th grader is embarking on a long-term science project and I'm on tap to "help." He is showing a strong interest into finding ways to get drinking water to the masses. His idea is that we need to find inexpensive and efficient desalination processes. So, we are exploring current desalination processes to see what makes it "expensive" and "inefficient."
However, we live in the Rocky Mountains and don't have access to proper sea water. We started to explore simply adding salt to tap water and researching how much. Then, we discovered "Artificial Sea Water" or "ASW" is a common creation in science. Because sea water contains more than just salt. It contains chemicals like fluoride, strontium, boron, bromide, inorganic carbon, potassium, calcium, sulfate, magnesium, chlorine and of course, sodium. I am not a chemist, so this is starting to look daunting.
So, here are my questions to counsel my son:
- To experiment with desalination, is adding salt to tap water sufficient or do we need to investigate finding official ASW?
- How do we test the salinity of water? Do I really need to invest hundreds of dollars on a salinity meter?