New Solar-Powered Water Purifier Could Help Address Global Drinking Water Shortages
Written by AZoCleantech
You have seen how Bear Grylls turns polluted water into drinking water with little more than plastic and sunlight. Based on this survival technique, academics have now added a third element – carbon-dipped paper – to create a highly efficient and inexpensive method to turn contaminated water and saltwater into potable water for personal use.
The idea could help address drinking water shortages worldwide, and especially in developing areas and territories affected by natural disasters. This is described in a study published online today (Jan. 30, 2017) in the Global Challenges journal.
Using extremely low-cost materials, we have been able to create a system that makes near maximum use of the solar energy during evaporation. At the same time, we are minimizing the amount of heat loss during this process.
Qiaoqiang Gan, PhD, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo
Other members of the research team are from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University at Buffalo‘s Department of Chemistry, Fudan University in China, and the lab of Gan, who is a member of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics and UB’s RENEW Institute, an interdisciplinary institute dedicated to solving complex environmental problems.
Solar Vapor Generator
In order to perform the study, the research team created a small-scale solar still. The device, known as a “solar vapor generator,” uses the heat converted from sunlight to clean or desalinate water. Here’s how the device works:
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