While we all in India are still upgrading our households with RO purifiers. Scientists in Germany have achieved groundbreaking success in the development of water purification technology. As per their method, they will use sunlight to purify water and that too with near perfect efficiency.
Thousands of year back Greek philosopher Aristotle suggested the use of sunlight for water purification. The idea has finally been implemented now.
The researchers from Martin Luther King University, Germany rely on electrons moving freely in water, called hydrated electrons, to degrade dissolved pollutants.
The Method and its Science:
As per Martin Goez, a professor at MLU. The electrons are extremely reactive and thus they can be used for a number of reactions. They break down even the most recalcitrant pollutants”.
But for the solution that can purify water to work, the electrons need to be released from a tightly bound molecular compounds. As of now, the process requires complex and expensive high-power lasers in order to generate those electrons.
The Researchers quickly introduced a new approach which only required a simple LeD as the sole source of energy. Vitamin C and traces of a metal complex as will be the catalyst to achieve the desired reaction.
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The catalyst requires to be encapsulated into tiny containers which they call as micelles. But this resulted in reduced reaction’s efficiency, and another problem came up was that the micelle molecules themselves were only partially biodegradable.
The group, therefore, looked for a way to avoid these additives. Ultimately, they found the answer in a highly charged anionic catalyst based on a ruthenium-metal complex.
By combining this with urate (a salt of uric acid), the researchers were able to effect the desired reaction in water without the need of micelles by exploiting the Coulombic repulsions.
Further investigations have revealed that the new process is not only a very efficient way to produce hydrated electrons but also has a wide range of applications.
“Our new approach is so simple that it doesn’t even need to take place in a lab,” said Goez.
The researchers conducted a field trial in a meadow and tested their new approach in water contaminated with chloroacetic acid.
The pollutants were eliminated in a small sample of water even when there was only a moderate amount of sunshine. Follow-up studies will examine whether the method developed by the chemists in Halle can also be used for large-scale removal of pollutants.
Thus we can use this to treat water on larger scale as well . And in a country like india the method if implemented properly can help us in treating water .
Using Sunlight to Purify Water to make it Fit For Drinking:
Another technology developed by researchers at the University of Buffalo also uses sunlight. However, the approach is very different from the one discussed above. This tech works by draping black, carbon-dipped paper in a triangular shape and using it to both absorb and vaporize water. Researchers have developed a method for using sunlight to generate clean water with near-perfect efficiency.
“Our technique is able to produce drinking water at a faster pace than is theoretically calculated under natural sunlight”. said Qiaoqiang Gan, an associate professor at the University at Buffalo in the US.
“Usually, when solar energy is used to evaporate water, some of the energy is wasted as heat is lost to the surrounding environment. This makes the process less than 100 percent efficient. Our system has a way of drawing heat in from the surrounding environment. This allows us to achieve near-perfect efficiency,” said Gan.
It is certainly a very motivating to see technology making use of nature. This will help us in achieving a sustainable and holistic approach to development. Don’t You think so? Share your views and ideas of innovation with us.