This New Device Purifies Water Using Sunlight and Hydrogels

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 12:59

Researchers from the University of Texas Austin have created a new hydrogel that is both hydrophilic and semiconducting.

The system works by creating water vapor under sunlight and then pumping the vapor into a condenser to deliver the freshwater. It also filters out contaminants that are harmful when consumed, Inhabitat reports.

The hydrogel-based solar vapor generator can desalinate water much more affordably than current options using much less power. “Water desalination through distillation is a common method for mass production of freshwater.

However, current distillation technologies, such as multi-stage flash and multi-effect distillation, require significant infrastructures and are quite energy-intensive,” said Fei Zhao, a researcher involved in the project. Tests produced 25 liters of water per square meter – plenty for disaster-stricken areas or household use.

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