Solar soaring is a new, quite interesting approach to water purification, which consists in using intense sunlight to heat dirty water, which evaporates and then returns to its liquid state, already in a much cleaner and safer form. Invented not so long ago, this process, however, involves a much more concentrated type of exposure to solar energy – in other words, it is necessary to increase its effectiveness for better and faster water purification. What the team of researchers at their University of Texas at Austin, USA managed to handle.
The fact is that the team first began experimenting with placing layers of a special black polymer called polypyrrole on round paper cutouts – which is characterized by a really high degree of conversion of sunlight to heat. By placing these cutouts on a flat surface, the scientists noticed that they actually do their job, but are not effective enough for the full treatment of large volumes of water.
As a unique solution to the problem presented, an approach was proposed in which these paper cutouts with polymer applied to them were made in the shape of a rose flower, with mutually intersecting ends – thus, scientists were able to not only make the development dimensions more compact, but also improve the conversion rate sunlight into heat. Then they built a special pipe mechanism by which water is evaporated from the polymers and then returns to its original state – preliminary results showed that the degree of water purification was significantly improved.
Thus, the development presented at the University of Texas offers a really interesting option for water purification, which, moreover, will not be conceptually different from various other similar developments. However, it remains to wait for the final report of the development team regarding the last iteration of its development.