Low-Cost Water Treatment to Solve Water Scarcity

 

Photo credit: Nature World News

Researchers from the State University of New York have released a new study that elaborated a new method to use sunlight to distill drinking water.
(Photo : Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Researchers Use Sunlight, Black Paper as Low-Cost Water Treatment to Solve Water Scarcity

Researchers from the State University of New York have released a new study that elaborated a new method to use sunlight to distill drinking water.

The idea behind the research is not surprisingly new as it has been used as early as 500 B.C.E. when Aristotle deduced that salt can be removed from seawater using sunlight. This is why solar stills are still being used since the industrial revolution, but prove ineffective in producing a sufficient amount of water enough to sustain a person who wants to survive in the wilderness.

Qiaoqiang Gan, the co-author of the study published in the journal Global Challenges, created a solar vapor generator and condensor. His method uses porous water with carbon black, a material that has near-zero “reflectivity” and can absorb an extremely large amount of solar heat.

Gan’s team put a carbon-covered paper on top of a foam and a thermal insulator. This focuses heat onto the carbon layer, which is then placed on a dirty water source. Interestingly, the “paper” acts as a sponge, with the carbon as an evaporator.

It is a known fact that majority of the world is covered with water. Unfortunately, most of that is not suitable for people to drink. According to Salon, if we exclude seawater, glaciers and ice caps, less than one percent of the planet’s water could be found in lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers. Even then, the water from these places still has to be treated to get rid of harmful chemicals.

Read the full article: Nature World News

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.