Feb, 2021 - By SMI
With the technology, researchers have innovated solar purifier that is made of several layers including carbon nanotubes, wooden block, and sprayed aerosol.
Analyzing the statistics, two-thirds of the global population which is 4 billion people around the world face water scarcity at least 1 month in a year. Currently, there are 2 billion people globally who use contaminated sources for drinking water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Further, this contaminated water can transmit diseases which are the source of an estimated 485,000 deaths a year. Hence, harmless methods to produce drinkable water from undrinkable sources is the urgent need.
The researchers at the University OF Science & Technology of China have developed a new device, which is made up of several layers, which purifies water with the help of bacteria. Their new generator, formed from wood and a nanomaterial produced from bacteria, harness solar power to separate water from contaminants. The upper most layer is designed with carbon nanotubes as carbon molecules has the ability to absorb energy from infrared radiation (IR). The middle layer is sprayed with aerosol consisting of tiny glass bubbles tiny hollow spheres that provides magnificent thermal insulation onto the surface. The last layer has block of wood where bacteria are added to the surface and allowed them to ferment.
The device works by transporting water upward through the wood to light absorbing layer, which is heated by the sun. Here, the key player is a bacteria which is supplied to the surface of the wood, leaving them to ferment. The bacteria builds cellulose nano fibers around them when the glass bubbles and carbon nanotube layers are added. When water reaches light-absorbing layer, it heats up and evaporates. The middle layer acts as an insulator keeping the heat from dissipating downwards.
According to the research, this solar purifier design gives solar-to-vapor efficiency of 80% and is more effective and relatively cheaper than the other purifying methods.
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