Cheap, simple technique turns seawater into drinking water​

Researchers from the University of Alexandria have developed a cheaper, simpler and potentially cleaner way to turn seawater into drinking water than conventional methods. The breakthrough, which could have a huge impact on rural areas of the Middle East and North Africa, improves on an existing method of separating liquids and solids known as pervaporation by using a new salt-attracting membrane embedded with cellulose acetate powder.Read More


New sensor detects water contamination in real time

Currently, if you want to check water supplies for the presence of toxic bacteria, you have to take a water sample and then culture it in a lab over several days. In the meantime, it's impossible to say if the water source is safe to use. A group of students from the Technical University of Denmark, however, have created a sensor that they say can detect bacteria in water instantly, on the spot.Read More


Fresh images display Pluto's atmosphere in a new light

The first color images returned of Pluto by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reveals blue skies and surface water-ice deposits. Previous non-color images of the dwarf planet's tenuous atmosphere have displayed a surprisingly complex multilayer structure, and the new color images have allowed scientists to deduce the composition of the haze.Read More


WaterStillar readies roll-out of scaleable solar water distiller

In a bid to help bring greater access to clean drinking water to the developing world, WaterStillar has created a solar-distillation system designed to produce clean drinking water from almost any source. Conceived as a cheap, efficient, modular system that can be scaled up to produce thousands of liters per day, Water Works is installed with no upfront costs and requires minimal maintenance or training to operate.Read More


MSR Guardian Water Purifier promises fast, safe drinking water from almost any source

Portable water filtration systems have generally been constrained by their ability to eliminate only bacteria and Cryptosporidium (a microscopic, diarrhea-causing parasite), but not viruses. Purification systems get rid of viruses, but take longer to do so. The MSR Guardian is different – it acts as both filter and purifier and is claimed to eliminate all biological threats you might find in even the dirtiest of water.Read More

Aquor hose adapter does away with screw-in connectors

Not much has changed in the way we plug in hoses over the years, with the male/female thread connectors for the most part keeping our gardening gear locked and loaded. But Seattle-based startup Aquor believes there is room for improvement, developing a plug-and-play adapter that connects hoses and accessories with a simple push and twist in less than a second.Read More


Designing a rover to mine for water on Mars

Should we ever want to set up any sort of base or colony on Mars, it's inevitably going to require water to support life, but transporting enough liquids to the Red Planet is likely to be impractical. With NASA and others planning manned Mars missions, a team based in Singapore is already working on a specialized Martian rover that could be used to "mine" for water below the planet's crimson surface.Read More

Environment Feature

How Chile's fogcatchers are bringing water to the driest desert on Earth

"It's easy for people in the cities. They don't have to think about it. They turn on the tap and they have water to wash and water to drink. Here, access to water is a much more complicated issue." Daniel Rojas might have been talking about any place on Earth where water is hard to come by, but his words have a particular salience in Peña Blanca, Chile. The remote, drought-stricken community lies on the fringes of an expanding Atacama Desert, the driest (non-polar) desert on Earth. Parts of this parched, desolate land have never seen a single drop of rain, but by using a cleverly designed system the locals are able to harvest the mist that rolls in from the Pacific for farming, preserving native vegetation, and even producing beer.Read More

Good Thinking

The Drinkable Book has water-purifying pages

For people in developing nations or rural locations, getting clean water may soon be as simple as opening a book … and ripping a page out. That’s the idea behind The Drinkable Book, developed by Carnegie Mellon University postdoc Theresa Dankovich. Each of its pages is made from a thick sheet of paper impregnated with silver and copper nanoparticles, that kill 99.9 percent of microbes in tainted water that’s filtered through it.Read More


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