Water filtration of saline water at the outermost layer of mangrove roots
The scarcity of fresh water is a global challenge faced at present. Several desalination methods have been suggested to secure fresh water from sea water. However, conventional methods suffer from technical limitations, such as high power consumption, expensive operating costs, and limited system durability. In this study, we examined the feasibility of using halophytes as a novel technology of desalinating high-concentration saline water for long periods. As a result, we found that the root possesses a hierarchical, triple layered pore structure in the epidermis, and most Na+ ions are filtered at the first sublayer of the outermost layer. The high blockage of Na+ ions is attributed to the high surface zeta potential of the first layer. This study provides insights into the mechanism underlying water filtration through halophyte roots and serves as a basis for the development of a novel bio-inspired desalination method.