What is the process for separating salt from water?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There are several different ways to separate salt from water.


Allow a container of salt water to stand for a few days. The water will eventually evaporate leaving the salt in the container. 


Distillation involves boiling the solution of salt water. When the boiling point of the water is reached, it will be converted to a gas. If the gas is collected, it can then be condensed back into water. This process allows you to collect both the salt and the water.

Reverse Osmosis

This technique involves removing the water from the salt by forcing it through a permeable membrane. The membrane only allows the water to pass through, leaving the salt behind.

Add Decanoic Acid

In this technique, decanoic acid is added to salt water, heated slightly, and then cooled. At this point, the salt "falls out" of the solution leaving the water and the salt in two separate layers. The water can then be easily removed from the salt.


In this process, a negatively charged anode and a positively charged cathode are placed in the salt water. The anode and cathode are separated by a porous membrane. An electric charge is run through the solution. This causes the anode and cathode to "pull out" the disolved salt ions from the water.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team