How Many Environmentally/Ecologically Friendly Water Inventions?
Part 4 — Water
As we’ve seen in earlier posts over the past months, innovations related to water treatment, production, or conservation are an important feature of the patentECOsphere.
Of the 11 Water Index patents that explicitly purported to be environmentally friendly in our review period (2007-2011), nine are within Class 210, liquid purification or separation.
Patent No. 8,043,499, “Portable and autonomous desalination system,” invented by Farooq Saeed (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) and Ahmed Z. Al-Garni (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) was issued on October 25, 2011 and assigned to King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia). Their invention is considered by the USPTO to be a structural installation of machinery within the broad class of liquid purification or separation inventions (210/171).
Although narrowly classified according to its original classification, it is actually a “portable and autonomous desalination system [using] an autonomous reverse osmosis (RO) desalination system utilizing power from a combination of electricity generation and storage sources that include a photovoltaic (PV) unit, a vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) unit, and an electricity storage unit. Electric power from PV, VAWT or storage units or a combination of these units is provided, depending upon the availability of sunlight or wind, or for night operation for water desalination using the reverse-osmosis process. The unit is portable, environmentally friendly, self-sufficient and self-sustaining in terms of supplying the electricity and fresh drinking water needs of the typical household.”
Adaptations could perhaps be applied to disaster relief and recovery (the Fukushima and Indonesia tsunami, and Haitian earthquake come to mind), or applications to the oil and gas drilling industry.