Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Purification

Rice University graduate student Oara Neumann (left) and scientist Naomi Halas are co-auth...

A team of researchers at Rice University has developed a new technology that uses light-absorbing nanoparticles to convert solar energy directly into steam. Even though it is already significantly more efficient than solar panels at producing electricity, the technology will likely find its first applications in low-cost sanitation, water purification and human waste treatment for the developing world.  Read More

The Solar Bag can be carried like a satchel for easier transport and will begin to purify ...

Lack of access to clean water causes the deaths of millions of people worldwide and in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, clean water can be several days walk away. Producing a simple and cheap method of purifying water which doesn’t rely on first-world amenities such as a steady electricity supply, or batteries, has proven a significant challenge thus far, but a new prototype device created by Ryan Lynch and Marcus Triest offers hope of doing just this, for an estimated cost of around US$5.  Read More

Artist's impression of an installed Lotus solar collector (Image: Monarch)

This rather novel solar collector draws inspiration from the lotus flower to provide small-scale solar energy - both electric and thermal - to domestic and small business users. The aptly named Monarch Lotus' (rebranded from the Solar Umbrella) 18 petals unfold to to form a 4-meter (13-foot) diameter flower that will, if development goes to plan, produce 3 kW of photovoltaic electrical power and 3 kW of solar thermal power per 100-kg (220-pound) unit in ideal conditions.  Read More

The LCD screen lets you know when purification is done

When you're dealing with the impurities of your local city water supply, a Brita filter should be enough to give you clean-tasting water. But when you're dealing with the impurities lingering in a raw, untreated stream in the woods, you'll need something stronger. This solution from Camelbak - the All Clear bottle - gives you an integrated UV purifier designed to kill all those nasty microorganisms that just live to wring your intestines out.  Read More

The SteriPEN Freedom is a USB-rechargeable portable UV water purifier

Water purifier manufacturer SteriPEN has updated its lineup of portable products, with a UV-based unit called the SteriPEN Freedom. Billed as the smallest, lightest and first rechargeable UV water purifier on the market, it disinfects up to 16 oz (0.5 L) of water in 48 seconds.  Read More

The Solarball is a student-designed device that creates clean drinking water through evapo...

When he set out on a trip to Cambodia in 2008, Industrial Design student Jonathan Liow had no idea it was going to be a life-changing experience. Upon seeing the poverty and poor living conditions in that country, however, he decided that he wanted to build things that could help people. After hearing about the need for cheap and effective water purification in Africa, he proceeded to create the Solarball for his graduate project at Australia's Monash University. The ball is reportedly capable of producing 3 liters (about 3 quarts) of drinkable water per day, using nothing but polluted water and sunlight.  Read More

Research published in the journal of the American Chemical Society claims that mashed up p...

The skin of a banana has been used to great comic effects in numerous slapstick routines for many years. It's also good for the skin and is a traditional cure for warts. You can polish shoes and silver with it. You can make wine with it and it's even been known to find itself being dried, wrapped in paper and smoked. Now, research published in the journal of the American Chemical Society claims that mashed up peel can remove heavy metals from river water.  Read More

Cleaning up the Seine with Physalia

Concerned about our rising population having serious water supply issues in the not too distant future, Lilypad floating city designer Vincent Callebaut has come up with a floating amphibious garden that can clean our rivers as it travels the waterways of Europe. His proposed "audacious, avant-garde" Physalia project will be a self-sufficient, nomadic research vessel which can also host aqua-focused exhibitions and conferences.  Read More

The Ferrator is a device that produces ferrate, a type of iron particle, to treat waste- a...

Ferrate is a type of supercharged iron particle, in which iron is in the plus 6 oxidation state – it’s also known as Iron (VI). That might not interest you, but perhaps this will: it can be used as an environmentally-friendly disinfectant in water treatment applications, reportedly outperforming stand-bys such as ultraviolet light, hydrogen peroxide, and chlorine. So, why isn’t it in common use? Unfortunately, it’s proven too expensive to produce, package and transport. Ferrate Treatment Technologies (FTT), however, claims to have addressed that limitation with its product, the Ferrator.  Read More

Researchers have created a microreactor that purifies water utilizing sunlight and microfl...

It has been known for some time now that sunlight can be used to purify drinking water. The practice of Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) basically involves just leaving water sitting in direct sunlight, where a combination of heat and UV rays kill off waterborne pathogens – the process is called photocatalysis, and it’s what’s at work behind both the Solaqua water purification device, and a system recently created by students from the University of Washington. Now, researchers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University have taken things a step further, by combining photocatalysis with microfluidics in a microreactor.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 29,534 articles