Sipping Seawater

How about a refreshing glass of… seawater?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with The Loh Down on Science.

What water shortage? Earth is covered in water! But only one percent is drinkable – the rest is salty seawater! And desalinating it takes LOTS of energy!

Zhenyuan Xu and scientists at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and MIT want to know if SUNSHINE could be more efficient.

They created a solar-powered water purifier using thin chambers stacked like a deck of cards. The first chamber has a special heat absorbing gel in front – the rest are aluminum. The sun’s heat leapfrogs through the chambers.

Each chamber evaporates lab-made seawater, using paper towels to speed it up and trap salt. The purified water then drips down the aluminum into a tray below.

Results? They cleaned thirty-six gallons of water in a day! DOUBLE what other devices do! The best part? This desalinator costs less than two dollars to make!

Hurray! I’ll never be thirsty at the beach again! More potato chips, please!