The rose may be one of the most iconic symbols of the fragility of love in popular culture, but now the flower could hold more than just symbolic value. A new device for collecting and purifying water, developed at The University of Texas at Austin, was inspired by a rose and, while more engineered than enchanted, is a dramatic improvement on current methods. Each flower-like structure costs less than 2 cents and can produce more than half a gallon of water per hour per square meter.
A team led by associate professor Donglei (Emma) Fan in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering developed a new approach to solar steaming for water production – a technique that uses energy from sunlight to separate salt and other impurities from water through evaporation.
In a paper published in the most recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials, the authors outline how an origami rose provided the inspiration for developing a new kind of solar-steaming system made from layered, black paper sheets shaped into petals. Attached to a stem-like tube that collects untreated water from any water source, the 3D rose shape makes it easier for the structure to collect and retain more liquid.
Current solar-steaming technologies are usually expensive, bulky and produce limited results. The team’s method uses inexpensive materials that are portable and lightweight. Oh, and it also looks just like a black-petaled rose in a glass jar.
Those in the know would more accurately describe it as a portable low-pressure controlled solar-steaming-collection “unisystem.” But its resemblance to a flower is no coincidence.
“We were searching for more efficient ways to apply the solar-steaming technique for water production by using black filtered paper coated with a special type of polymer, known as polypyrrole,” Fan said.
Polypyrrole is a material known for its photothermal properties, meaning it’s particularly good at converting solar light into thermal heat.
Fan and her team experimented with a number of different ways to shape the paper to see what was best for achieving optimal water retention levels. They began by placing single, round layers of the coated paper flat on the ground under direct sunlight. The single sheets showed promise as water collectors but not in sufficient amounts. After toying with a few other shapes, Fan was inspired by a book she read in high school. Although not about roses per se, “The Black Tulip” by Alexandre Dumas gave her the idea to try using a flower-like shape, and she discovered the rose to be ideal. Its structure allowed more direct sunlight to hit the photothermic material – with more internal reflections – than other floral shapes and also provided enlarged surface area for water vapor to dissipate from the material.
The device collects water through its stem-like tube – feeding it to the flower-shaped structure on top. It can also collect rain drops coming from above. Water finds its way to the petals where the polypyrrole material coating the flower turns the water into steam. Impurities naturally separate from water when condensed in this way.
“We designed the purification-collection unisystem to include a connection point for a low-pressure pump to help condense the water more effectively,” said Weigu Li, a Ph.D. candidate in Fan’s lab and lead author on the paper. “Once it is condensed, the glass jar is designed to be compact, sturdy and secure for storing clean water.”
The device removes any contamination from heavy metals and bacteria, and it removes salt from seawater, producing clean water that meets drinking standard requirements set by the World Health Organization.
“Our rational design and low-cost fabrication of 3D origami photothermal materials represents a first-of-its-kind portable low-pressure solar-steaming-collection system,” Li said. “This could inspire new paradigms of solar-steaming technologies in clean water production for individuals and homes.”
The Latest on: Solar steaming
via Google News
The Latest on: Solar steaming
- Enphase, 603 Solar's Project to Offset 12.8 Metric Tons CO2on October 7, 2020 at 1:34 pm
ENPH recently announced that the solar system of New Hampshire’s Shelburne town hall building, jointly developed by 603 Solar and Enphase, possesses the capability to offset almost 12.8 metric tons of ...
- Final Trades: Domino's Pizza, TJX Companies, First Solar & moreon October 7, 2020 at 11:11 am
The "Halftime Report" traders give their top picks to watch for the second half.
- Watch Mars Make Its Closest Approach To Earth Until 2035on October 4, 2020 at 11:12 pm
Mars makes its closest approach to Earth until 2035. Earth and Mars both orbit the Sun in the same direction, but at different speeds and distances. Consequently, Earth only overtakes Mars once every ...
- Top stocks to watch— RIL, TCS, HCL Tech, Hero MotoCorp, Vedanta, Solar Industries, ITI and otherson October 4, 2020 at 7:49 pm
Whereas other Asain stocks were trading in green — with Hang Seng trading 1.45% higher and Australian stock market also up 2% at 7:50 am. Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries cleared yet another ...
- 2012 Solar Storm Could Have Been More Extreme: Here’s Howon September 30, 2020 at 3:26 am
In 2012, an extreme solar storm nearly hit the Earth Researchers studying the event said it could have been more extreme if paired with another event Researchers demonstrated how two solar storms ...
- Global Solar Water Heather Market 2020 Demand, Industry Synopsis, Operational Efficiency and Market Capitalization by 2025on September 30, 2020 at 2:26 am
Global Solar Water Heather Market 2020 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2025 is systematic research that delivers an expert and comprehensively analyzes recent business ...
- Solar orbiter's first science data shows the sun at its quieteston September 29, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Three of the Solar Orbiter spacecraft's instruments, including Imperial's magnetometer, have released their first data.
- What the Aztecs thought about solar eclipseson September 29, 2020 at 4:36 am
Humanity has witnessed solar eclipses since there's been a humanity, but it's only since the scientific revolution that we've understood how to predict them. Prior to that, cultures around the world ...
- Solar storm ALERT: Space weather watch issued as particles from the Sun pummel Earthon September 29, 2020 at 3:07 am
SPACE WEATHER forecasters have issued a solar storm watch after a stream of charged particles from the Sun reached our planet.
- Sun, water and ice: Lithuania tests floating solar poweron September 29, 2020 at 1:01 am
"Floatovoltaics" - or putting panels on water - could save land and pair well with hydropower, if technical and environmental issues can be solved ...
via Bing News