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Researchers at the University of Austin in Texas are creating the system capable of desalting up to 25 liters of water per square meter.

A research group from the University of Austin in Texas, UAT, succeeded in creating a hydrogel and solar powered water cleaning system, in addition to being profitable, they allow the production of drinking water from almost any source, including salt water from the Dead Sea, the density of which varies between 30 and 32% of the total or the equivalent at between 8 and 10 times higher than the oceans and seas nearby.

According to the data processed by the United Nations World Organization, “water is a scarce commodity and over the past century its use has increased by more than twice the growth rate of the world’s population ”, These facts lead to the proliferation of regions which “They are reaching the limit where water services can be provided in a sustainable manner, especially in arid areas”.

The United Nations Water Agency states that “There are already around 2 billion people, or nearly a fifth of the world’s population, living in areas of scarcity. Just as 1.6 billion people, or nearly a quarter of the world’s population, face an economic water scarcity “.

The team led by Guihua Yu, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at UAT, explains that they have developed “An economical and compact technology that uses the combination of hybrid gel-polymer materials. Those which have hydrophilic qualities (attraction to water) and semiconductor characteristics (solar absorption), these “hydrogels” allow the production of clean and safe drinking water from any source, whether either oceans or contaminated supplies ”.


The researchers claim that in tests carried out outdoors, they achieved a daily output of distilled water of 25 liters per square meter, sufficient for the needs of a home or even disaster areas. Professor Yu comments that Best of all, hydrogels can be easily reinstalled to replace basic components in most existing solar desalination systems, eliminating the need for a complete overhaul of systems already in use.

Steam-based operation.

Professor Yu explains that for the operation of this system, they basically have “Rewrite the entire approach to conventional solar water evaporation, with a new hydrogel-based steam generator that uses ambient solar energy to power water evaporation for efficient desalination. “ “Nanostructured” gels require much less energy, they only need natural levels of sunlight to function, while also being able to dramatically increase the volume of water that can be evaporated.

Currently, the technologies used to treat salt water involve a very expensive process and rely on optical instruments to concentrate sunlight. With this new system, solar energy, as a more sustainable heat source for distillation, is seen as an excellent alternative for water desalination while reducing costs, being environmentally friendly and keeping it safe. providing better results.


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