Despite the remarkable technological advances that took place in recent decades, there are regions in the world that continue to be affected by a variety of issues and limitations. One of the major ones is the lack of access to clean water for drinking
In most cases, people will purify water for drinking by boiling it. A team of researchers has developed a new solar-based water purification method that is considerably more efficient at reducing the number of contaminants found in the water in comparison to boiling.
Harnessing the Sun
Sunlight is a resource that is easily accessible across all over the world and can be employed to evaporate and purify water with surprising efficiency. The new method involves the use of a femtosecond laser pulse, which converts the surface of a sheet of aluminum to generate super energy.
By placing the aluminum plate at a specific angle, a thin layer of water will rise towards the metal surface. Since up to 100% if the energy that is absorbed from the Sun is usable, water can be warmed at a fast face. The extra heat increases the rate of the evaporation process at the same time.
While the process of boiling will reduce the number of microbial agents found in the water, it will not reduce the number of heavy metals and other dangerous contaminants, including detergents, dyes and more. This can be a significant problem in areas where pollution is also high.
However, the new method is quite efficient at removing the contaminants mentioned above and additional ones. Maintenance is also easy and accessible and the panels can be shifted throughout the day to collect the maximum amount of available sunlight, which is a great advantage when a high amount of drinkable water is needed.
While the project has been tested successfully, a commercial release date is not available at this point.