Possibilities to eliminate the issues relating to wastewater.


Photo credit: AZO Cleantech

Caution, no drinking water. Only 0.3 % of the water on the Earth�s surface is suited for use as drinking water. KIT scientists study possibilities of improving wastewater use. (Photo: KIT)

KIT Researchers Propose New Ways to Utilize Wastewater

Written by AZoCleantech

A team of researchers from the “Water-Energy Group” of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are studying possibilities to eliminate the issues relating to wastewater.

Wastewater is considered to be of no use. Washing water is said to an average temperature of 30 °C. Toilet water can be used not only for producing fertilizers or biogas but also as valuable resources that otherwise is dumped in the sewer system unused. What is worse is that annually, over 2 million people die from diarrheal diseases because of the wrong use of wastewater.

Although water covers around 72% of the Earth’s surface, only 0.3% can be utilized as drinking water.

Read the full article: AZO Cleantech

With that in mind, wastewater is no waste. It contains thermal energy, chemical energy in the form of carbon compounds, and valuable plant nutrients. Now, we have to develop processes for the use of these resources.

Helmut Lehn, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)


Accessible fresh water in North Africa and the Middle East has fallen by two-thirds over the past 40 years

Photo credit: UN News Centre

Morocco Photo: UNDP/Dylan Lowthian

UN agriculture agency warns of water scarcity in North Africa and Near East

Accessible fresh water in North Africa and the Middle East has fallen by two-thirds over the past 40 years, posing a huge challenge requiring “an urgent and massive response,” the head of the United Nations agriculture agency said today.

Access to water is a fundamental need for food security, human health and agriculture, and sustainable water use for agriculture requires transforming food systems and diets, said Jose Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in a news release on his visit to Egypt.

Per capita availability of fresh water in the region is now 10 times less than the world average, he said, underscoring the need for a significant overhaul of farming systems.

A recent FAO study showed that higher temperatures may shorten growing seasons in the region by 18 days and reduce agricultural yields a further 27 per cent to 55 per cent less by the end of this century.

The rising sea level in the Nile Delta is exposing Egypt to the danger of losing substantial parts of the most productive agriculture land due to salinization.

Read the full article: UN News Centre

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

Solar-Powered Water Purifier for Global Drinking Water Shortages


From the top left corner, moving clockwise, the four images depict: University at Buffalo students performing an experiment, clean drinking water, water evaporating, and black carbon wrapped around plastic in water with evaporated vapor on top evaporated water. Credit: University at Buffalo. – http://www.azocleantech.com/images/news/NewsImage_23909.jpg

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:

Read the full story: AZO Cleantech

HyperSolar to produce hydrogen and clean water from polluted water


Photo credit: Treehugger

Video screen capture HyperSolar

Prototype uses solar energy to produce hydrogen and clean water from polluted water

Derek Markham

Solar and nanoparticles and hydrogen, oh my!

The promised hydrogen economy keeps getting pushed back farther into the future, it seems, as producing hydrogen sustainably and at a low cost is always just around the bend in time, and while hydrogen has its share of opponents, it also has its boosters, such as HyperSolar, which looks to bring a breakthrough to scalable renewable hydrogen production.

Although this element is one of the most abundant in the universe, and the third most abundant on Earth, it’s also the lightest, which makes it rare in our atmosphere (meaning we can’t just hoover it up from the air). Hydrogen isn’t exactly known for its energy-density, but it is one potential storage solution for building a more sustainable energy system, if it can be produced efficiently with renewable energy, and then stored and distributed efficiently, as opposed to the current major source of hydrogen, which is steam-reformed natural gas.

Those are some big ‘ifs’ that won’t be solved overnight in the clean hydrogen quest, but HyperSolar believes it has the next step for producing low-cost, scalable, renewable hydrogen, with the source being polluted or dirty water, and the energy from the sun. Instead of using electricity from a separate solar array to power
an electrolyzer, this prototype has its solar energy component directly submerged in the water, with its “Self-contained Photoelectrochemical Nanosystem” technology that is “designed to mimic photosynthesis.” According to the company, this nanoparticle-based system enables a much more efficient electrolysis process than one powered by a separate solar input, which would have higher losses of transmission between the sun and the actual hydrogen production, and it says its system could “significantly” lower the cost of hydrogen electrolysis.

HyperSolar calls it the H2 Generator, and so far, it’s a lab-scale prototype, but the company believes it can be scaled up effectively, with the technology put to work turning wastewater or other non-potable water into hydrogen, “at or near the point of distribution.”

Read the full article: Treehugger

Solar-powered water purification system



Solar-powered water purification system a huge success in Mexican village : TreeHugger

The remote jungle village of La Mancalona on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico has gone from a place where clean water was scarce, bottled water expensive and soda much cheaper to a place where they have a reliable source of purified water and a profitable business in just two years.This positive change is thanks to an MIT-designed solar-powered water purification system that the village was the first to take for a test drive.The reverse osmosis system consists of two photovoltaic solar panels that power a set of pumps that push both brackish well water and collected rain water through semiporous membranes that filter and purify the water. The system produces about 1,000 liters of clean water a day for the village’s 450 residents

Read the story: CRAENGINEERING

Over half of the drinking water comes from forests

Photo credit: Treehugger

© SFI | SFI Audit, Tate’s Hell State Forest in Florida

How forest certification standards keep our drinking water clean

Did you know that over half of the drinking water in the United States and nearly two thirds of the drinking water in Canada comes from forests?

In a recent study, the non-profit National Association of State Foresters (NASF) confirmed that the best management practices used by harvesting professionals and required by forest certification standards are paying off in maintaining the water quality in our forests that translates into the clean water coming out of our faucets.

“Best management practices are an effective way of protecting water quality and preventing pollution,” Florida State Forester Jim Karels said. “Much of the nation’s drinking water originates from forests, and these measures ensure that those lands continue to provide such an important societal need.”

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is one example of a certification standard with requirements to implement best management practices for water quality. In the recent study, NASF recognized the role of SFI in advancing water quality in managed forests, and promoting improved harvesting practices: “… SFI [has] made important contributions to improved best management practices implementation through logger training, landowner outreach and water quality requirements.”

Read the full article: Treehugger