Microfluidic desalination techniques and their potential applications
In this review we discuss recent developments in the emerging research field of miniaturized desalination. Traditionally desalination is performed to convert salt water into potable water and research is focused on improving performance of large-scale desalination plants. Microfluidic desalination offers several new opportunities in comparison to macro-scale desalination, such as providing a platform to increase fundamental knowledge of ion transport on the nano- and microfluidic scale and new microfluidic sample preparation methods. This approach has also lead to the development of new desalination techniques, based on micro/nanofluidic ion-transport phenomena, which are potential candidates for up-scaling to (portable) drinking water devices. This review assesses microfluidic desalination techniques on their applications and is meant to contribute to further implementation of microfluidic desalination techniques in the lab-on-chip community.