A research team from China and Singapore has printed a 3D device capable of utilizing heat harnessed from the sun’s solar rays to make seawater safe t drink. These solar-powered water purification devices is a new age tech introduced.
This device is designed around the fully-printed ceramic core. In addition, the new scientists’ novel purifier carries an integrated solar absorber, a water transporter that desalinates without setting up. This new device also meets the conversion efficiency of the World Health Organization (WHO), making it ideal for addressing global water shortages.
Tackling Drought via Desalination
Since the global population is rising and climate change is evident, access to safe drinking water is becoming a challenge. Earth’s oceans make up over 70% of the planet’s surface, but living beings get only 2.5% fresh enough to drink.
Currently, there are reverse osmosis, distillation, and ion exchange-based desalination devices. However, their high cost and energy consumption make it difficult to access in the developing world. Therefore, scientists are prototyping solar-powered devices as a sustainable alternative to make water purification accessible to people and distribute energy-efficient technologies.
Many of these initial designs proved feasible to use sunlight, helping to purify seawater. However, these designs are mass-produced, having limited control over the structure, resulting in poor thermal efficiency.
Researchers worked on 3D printing to produce heat-efficient devices to get higher rate solar-to-vapor energy conversion.
Adopting Ceramic Based Solar Absorption
By using 3D printing, scientists produced multifunctional porous ceramic mesh-based solar absorbers. Due to the material’s inherent isolative properties, certain parts proved to be capable of acting as the device water transporter.
Water Purification and 3D printing
3D printing offers design flexibility and low production costs, making it worth using to develop innovative new ways to purify drinking water.
The Buffalo University developed a 3D printed water-purifying Graphene aerogel that can help save large wastewater treatment plants. Similarly, the University of Cambridge worked on spin-out Blue Tap with 3D printed chlorine doser. As a result, the user can fit the piped water system in development, making the water safe for drinking.