When salt is removed from seawater in desalination plants, the byproduct is – not surprisingly – a lot of highly-concentrated salty brine. Ordinarily, this is just dumped back into the sea, which can harm the environment. Thanks to researchers at MIT, however, that brine could soon be used to desalinate more water. What the researchers have created is a system that removes the unwanted compounds from the brine and turns into useful chemicals such as sodium hydroxide. The reason this chemical is important is that it’s commonly utilized to change the acidity of seawater entering desalination plants, which in turn helps to the filtration systems that remove salt work optimally. Usually, plant operators have to buy the chemical, but with the MIT system, operators would be able to produce even more than they need, on-site. It’s a win-win for both the environment and desalination plant operators.