—Superefficient solar desalination “System harnesses waste heat to produce enough drinkable water for an adult in 1 h” Portable devices that use sunlight to remove salts from seawater could provide affordable drinking water to people in remote or arid coastal areas. But solar-powered desalination technologies have suffered from low efficiencies. Researchers now report an ultraefficient, multistage desalination system that can produce 5.8 L of fresh water per hour in full sun, almost three times as much as produced by previous similar devices (Energy Environ. Sci. 2020, DOI: 10.1039/C9EE04122B). Conventional desalination plants, which rely on membranes, are expensive and typically use a lot of energy. Solar thermal desalination is a less-expensive option but is inefficient and requires immense parabolic mirrors to focus sunlight on seawater to evaporate it. Neither technology is suited for remote or resource-poor areas. Portable solar-powered desalination devices address this problem. These typically use less-expensive sunlight-absorbing materials that heat and evaporate seawater.
by Prachi Patel |
February 22, 2020