A cheap organic steam generator to purify water

Related Articles

Related Articles

It has been estimated that in 2040 a quarter of the world’s children will live in regions where clean and drinkable water is lacking.

The desalination of seawater and the purification of wastewater are two possible methods to alleviate this, and researchers at Linköping University have developed a cheap and eco-friendly steam generator to desalinate and purify water using sunlight. The results have been published in the journal Advanced Sustainable Systems.

“The rate of steam production is 4-5 times higher than that of direct water evaporation, which means that we can purify more water”, says Associated Professor Simone Fabiano, head of the Organic Nanoelectronics group in the Laboratory of Organic Electronics.

 

The steam generator consists of an aerogel that contains a cellulose-based structure decorated with the organic conjugated polymer PEDOT:PSS. The polymer has the ability to absorb the energy in sunlight, not least in the infrared part of the spectrum where much of the sun’s heat is transported. The aerogel has a porous nanostructure, which means that large quantities of water can be absorbed into its pores.

“A 2 mm layer of this material can absorb 99% of the energy in the sun’s spectrum”, says Simone Fabiano.

A porous and insulating floating foam is also located between the water and the aerogel, such that the steam generator is kept afloat. The heat from the sun vaporises the water, while salt and other materials remain behind.

“The aerogel is durable and can be cleaned in, for example, salt water such that it can be used again immediately. This can be repeated many times. The water that passes through the system by evaporation becomes very high-quality drinking water”, Tero-Petri Ruoko assures us. He is postdoc in the Laboratory of Organic Electronics and one of the authors of the article.

“What’s particularly nice about this system is that all the materials are eco-friendly – we use nanocellulose and a polymer that has a very low impact on the environmental and people. We also use very small amounts material: the aerogel is made up of 90% air. We hope and believe that our results can help the millions of people who don’t have access to clean water”, says Simone Fabiano.

The aerogel was developed by Shaobo Han within the framework of his doctoral studies in the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, under Professor Xavier Crispin´s supervision. The result was presented in the journal Advanced Science in 2019, and is described at the link below. After taking his doctoral degree, Shaobo Han has returned to China to continue research in the field.

LINKÖPING UNIVERSITY

The water that passes through the system by evaporation becomes very high-quality drinking water. Credit : Thor Balkhed

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic

LATEST NEWS

The Modhera Sun Temple

The Sun Temple is an ancient Hindu temple complex located on a latitude of 23.6° (near Tropic of Cancer) on the banks of the Pushpavati river at Modhera in Gujarat, India.

Scientists Hunt For Lost WW2 Bunkers Designed to Hold Off Invasion

New research published by scientists from Keele, Staffordshire and London South Bank Universities, has unveiled extraordinary new insights into a forgotten band of secret fighters created to slow down potential invaders during World War Two.

Sea Ice Triggered the Little Ice Age

A new study finds a trigger for the Little Ice Age that cooled Europe from the 1300s through mid-1800s, and supports surprising model results suggesting that under the right conditions sudden climate changes can occur spontaneously, without external forcing.

The Two Fanjingshan Temples

Fanjingshan Temple is actually two temples, located on the “Red Clouds Golden Summit or Golden Peak” on Fanjingshan Mountain (also known as Mount Fanjing), the highest point of the Wuling Mountains in southwestern China.

Venus’ Ancient Layered, Folded Rocks Point to Volcanic Origin

An international team of researchers has found that some of the oldest terrain on Venus, known as tesserae, have layering that seems consistent with volcanic activity. The finding could provide insights into the enigmatic planet's geological history.

Undersea Earthquakes Shake up Climate Science

Despite climate change being most obvious to people as unseasonably warm winter days or melting glaciers, as much as 95 percent of the extra heat trapped on Earth by greenhouse gases is held in the world's oceans.

Raids and Bloody Rituals Among Ancient Steppe Nomads

Ancient historiographers described steppe nomads as violent people dedicated to warfare and plundering.

Ancient Human Footprints in Saudi Arabia Give Glimpse of Arabian Ecology 120000 Years Ago

Situated between Africa and Eurasia, the Arabian Peninsula is an important yet understudied region for understanding human evolution across the continents.

Popular stories

The Secret Hellfire Club and the Hellfire Caves

The Hellfire Club was an exclusive membership-based organisation for high-society rakes, that was first founded in London in 1718, by Philip, Duke of Wharton, and several of society's elites.

Port Royal – The Sodom of the New World

Port Royal, originally named Cagway was an English harbour town and base of operations for buccaneers and privateers (pirates) until the great earthquake of 1692.

Matthew Hopkins – The Real Witch-Hunter

Matthew Hopkins was an infamous witch-hunter during the 17th century, who published “The Discovery of Witches” in 1647, and whose witch-hunting methods were applied during the notorious Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts.

Did Corn Fuel Cahokia’s Rise?

A new study suggests that corn was the staple subsistence crop that allowed the pre-Columbian city of Cahokia to rise to prominence and flourish for nearly 300 years.