There are some things that people born in the “right” parts of the world often take for granted. Drinking water is certainly one of them. While it may seem like a primary and guaranteed commodity to many, its availability and presence are not at all widespread around the world.
There are many people who face water shortages and drinking water every day, around 785 million, according to a WHO report. A huge number, for a problem on which it is more and more urgent to intervene, and to do it with smart, revolutionary, and ecological solutions like the one we are going to talk about. There is no shortage of water on our planet: making even that which is not usable at the base is a fundamental challenge. A research team succeeded in making seawater drinkable in just 30 minutes.
Drinking, safe and clean, in about half an hour and thanks to renewable energies. This is neither a dream nor a utopia, but the reality of what the global research team led by Professor Huanting Wang , from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University in Australia, has succeeded in doing. This news is the kind to bring forth a sigh of relief and hope, in light of the implications it may have on entire swathes of the world’s less fortunate population.
Published in the journal Nature Sustainability , the study describes how researchers were able to filter particles from seawater and generate 139.5 liters of drinking water per kilogram of MOF per day, where “MOF” refers to a organometallic material specifically used to treat liquid. Without going into too much technical detail, just know that this method is much more efficient than conventional desalination techniques, and that it is in fact revolutionary.
image credit: Pixabay
Unlike other methods, which have a fairly high energy consumption, this new technology uses solar energy, the most abundant and renewable source that our planet makes available to us. Efficiency and respect for the environment have therefore enabled scientists to create PSP-MIL-53, a photosensitive MOF “specialized” in this difficult task.
Congratulations to Monash’s Prof Huanting Wang, who’s received an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship for his work in nanoporous materials and composite membranes – research that supports innovations in renewable energy, mining, and clean water https://t.co/nJZvIOGedS pic.twitter.com/2dTUFVd8Qo— Monash University (@MonashUni) July 7, 2020
“Our study has successfully demonstrated that photoreactive MOFs are a promising, energy-efficient and sustainable adsorbent for desalination,” commented Professor Wang, “We have embarked on an exciting new path to reduce energy demand and improve performance. sustainability of water desalination. “
We of course hope that this is indeed the case and that soon many people in need will benefit from this important discovery.