Sunday, June 03, 2018

Solar energy tapped for clean water

A 3D solar-steam generator design squeezes every last drop of energy from sunlight to produce fresh water.


Purifying water to make it clean enough to drink takes a lot of energy. A KAUST team has found a way to efficiently produce clean fresh water using the energy in sunlight. The 3D solar-steam generator, which works with near-perfect energy efficiency, could be used as an environmentally friendly way to turn seawater into drinking water, as well as to clean wastewater.

Key to the solar steam generator is a photothermal material that soaks up sunlight and converts the captured energy into heat. When placed on a wet surface, water drawn into the hot photothermal material turns to steam, which can be captured as pure water.

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Image: Solar-steam generation treats wastewater and has a great potential to provide fit-for-purpose water for agriculture.
© 2018 Renyuan Li

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