Although over 70% of the Earth is covered by water, most of it is undrinkable. According to statistics, about 844 million people around the world face the problem of access to a valuable resource, and not every locality can afford a complex and expensive cleaning system. Australian scientists have presented an innovative desalinator that can remove up to 100% of salt from seawater even without connection to the electrical network.
Scientists at the Australian University of Monash used a disc of super hydrophilic filter paper coated with carbon nanotubes as a desalinator. For the "transportation" of salt water to the evaporating disc, a cotton thread with a diameter of 1 mm is used. When sunlight is absorbed, the disc evaporates the water, keeping the salt crystals on the filter surface — as a result, the desalination efficiency reaches almost 100% without the use of electrical energy and mechanical parts.
"We hope that this study can be a starting point for further development in the field of energy-saving ways to ensure clean and safe water for millions of people," said chemical engineer Sivang Zhang, one of the authors of the project.
According to the researchers, the innovative device is able to produce 6-8 liters of clean water per square meter of its surface area per day. The invention will be particularly useful in places where there is no stable access to electricity. Previously, a similar method of desalination using solar energy was announced by a team of scientists from the United States — the technology based on hydrogel was quite effective even for cleaning water taken from the Dead sea.