In an effort to purify water, researchers from the University at Buffalo are using carbon-dipped paper to make dirty water drinkable.
Those behind the research believe this new development could be a cheap and efficient way to address a global shortage in drinking water, specifically in developing areas.
(MORE: See what ECS members are doing to address global water and sanitation issues.)
“Using extremely low-cost materials, we have been able to create a system that makes near maximum use of the solar energy during evaporation,” says Qiaoqiang Gan, lead researcher. “At the same time, we are minimizing the amount of heat loss during this process.”
This from University at Buffalo:
The team built a small-scale solar still. The device, which they call a “solar vapor generator,” cleans or desalinates water by using the heat converted from sunlight. Here’s how it works: The sun evaporates the water. During this process, salt, bacteria, or other unwanted elements are left behind as the liquid moves into a gaseous state. The water vapor then cools and returns to a liquid state, where it is collected in a separate container without the salt or contaminants.