- A new solar-steaming method of purifying water was detailed in Advanced Materials.
- The device used for this method takes less than 2 cents to make.
- It involves using an origami rose made of black filter paper to separate impurities from water.
Clean drinking water is an extremely important commodity. Sadly, not everyone has access to that. One method of purifying it is through solar-steaming or separating impurities from water using evaporation.
A team from Cockrell School of Engineering’s Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering developed a new approach published in the journal Advanced Materials that use an origami rose. This method uses a steaming system made of black paper sheets, layered and shaped into petals. It’s attached to a stem-like tube and can produce over half a gallon of water per square meter in an hour.
What’s more, the structure costs less than 2 cents to make. That’s a huge jump in progress to other steaming methods that can be bulky, expensive, and not able to produce as much liquid.
The inspiration for trying out a flower-like shape came from a book Donglei Emma Fan, associate professor, read in high school- “The Black Tulip” by Alexandre Dumas. Fan and her team were experimenting on the use of different ways to shape black filtered paper coated with a polymer known as polypyrrole to see what would produce optimal water retention.
Trying out the rose shape showed them that it provided more surface area for direct sunlight to hit, more internal reflections, and larger surface area to allow water vapor to dissipate as well. Impurities are naturally separated when water in the flower turns to steam.
Weigu Li, lead author and Ph.D. candidate at Fan’s lab said, “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.”
Source: Good News Network