Gel device uses sunlight to purify water • Earth.com

Gel device uses sunlight to purify water

05-17-2021


Gel device uses sunlight to purify water Today’s Video of the Day from Princeton University describes a new gel device that uses sunlight to purify water. The gel material soaks up water while leaving contaminants like pathogens and heavy metals behind. 

“To me, the most exciting thing about this work is it can operate completely off-grid, at both large and small scales,” said co-inventor Professor Rodney Priestley. “It could also work in the developed world at sites where low-cost, non-powered water purification is needed.”

Xiaohui Xu helped develop the gel material that is key for water purification.

“Sunlight is free, and the materials to make this device are low-cost and non-toxic, so this is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to generate pure water,” said Xu.

According to the researchers, the technology delivers the highest passive solar water purification rate of any competing technology. There is A new device  that will purify powered only by sunlight could help produce clean drinking water at low cost with little to no environmental impact. When placed in contaminated water, the gel soaks up only pure water, leaving contaminants behind. When sunlight warms the gel, it change shapes and expels the water for collection.

Video Credit: Xiaohui Xu, Princeton University

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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