They create a device that transforms contaminated water into fuel and purified water

Isbel Lázaro.
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agua contaminada

Inspenet, November 26, 2023.

At the University of Cambridge, the application of an already existing idea, the generation of hydrogen from ordinary water, has been developed, but it has been extended to work with any type of water , including contaminated water, sea water or rivers with sediments. .

This new floating device, powered by solar energy , has the ability to produce clean hydrogen fuel and purified water anywhere in the world.

Its design is based on the process of photosynthesis, which mimics the ability of plants to convert sunlight into food. Unlike previous versions of the “artificial leaf”, which generated green hydrogen fuel from clean water sources, this novel device operates with contaminated or sea water sources, simultaneously producing clean drinking water.

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Tests of the device have shown its effectiveness in generating clean water from highly contaminated sources, as well as seawater. These results have been detailed in an article published in the journal Nature Water.

Bringing together solar fuel production and water purification in a single device is complicated ,” Dr. Chanon Pornrungroj of Cambridge’s Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, co-senior author of the paper, said in a statement.

A device that could work with contaminated water could solve two problems at once: it could split water to produce clean fuel, and it could produce drinking water ,” said co-lead author Ariffin Mohamad Annuar.

The transformation of contaminated water

Pornrungroj and Mohamad Annuar, members of the research team led by Professor Erwin Reisner, came up with a design that does exactly that. They applied a photocatalyst on a porous nanostructured carbon structure, which has a high capacity for absorbing light and heat, generating water vapor used by the photocatalyst for the creation of hydrogen. The porous carbon structure, treated to repel water, served the purpose of allowing the photocatalyst to float while also keeping it away from the surrounding water, preventing contaminants from interfering with its operation.

Additionally, this new device uses solar energy more efficiently. To optimize this, the team incorporated a white UV-absorbing layer on top of the floating device, intended for hydrogen production through water splitting. The remaining light from the solar spectrum is directed towards the bottom of the device, where it is used to vaporize the water.

In addition, it is a very simple design: in just a few steps we can build a device that works well with water from a wide variety of sources ,” said Mohamad Annuar.

It is very tolerant of contaminants and the floating design allows the substrate to work in very turbid or muddy water ,” Pornrungroj said. “ It is a very versatile system .”

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Source: https://www.lanacion.com.ar/tecnologia/este-aparato-poder-generar-combustible-y-agua-purificación-a-partir-de-agua-de-mar-o-que-este- nid20112023/

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