Material for water purification was created from cellulose and air

Association of organic matter, well absorbing water, and polymer, which collects the energy of sunlight, led to the creation of an inexpensive material, which quickly makes the fluid from any body of water suitable for drinking.

When it comes to turning large amounts of salty or contaminated by impurities in drinking water, the mind is usually her evaporation with subsequent condensation. However, to implement this method is difficult and expensive: the necessary equipment and energy to accomplish the phase transition of water in a vapor state. Natural solar heat for these purposes is not enough.

In Germany University in Sweden have found a way to use the energy of the Sun to clean dirty water. To do this, scientists created a hybrid material whose properties are described in detail in an article published in the journal Advanced Sustainable Systems.

The material is a highly porous aerogel, 90% consisting of air. In the composition of the aerogel combined glucose and a special polymer PEDOT:PSS. Cellulose is one of the most common organic compounds on Earth. It is a major component of the cell walls of plants and effectively absorb water. Polymer PEDOT:PSS, organic, absorbs the energy of sunlight. Especially polymer like “warm” infrared radiation.

In their experiments, Swedish scientists stuck aerogel floating on the surface of water cushion from porous foam and estimated the rate of evaporation of the liquid. It turned out that the collected polymer PEDOT:PSS thermal energy native lights heated and turned water into steam 4-5 times faster than without the use of aerogel.

The evaporated liquid is condensed on the plate located above hybrid material, and flowed then on a special chute into the container for collection. The impurities and salt, which delivered the water remained in the aerogel. The developers claim that the material can be washed and repeatedly reused.

“We hope and believe that our results may help the millions of people who do not have access to clean water,” said study leader Professor Simone Fabiano (Fabiano Simone).