DETROIT – Researchers from MIT and China have developed a solar desalination device that could provide a family of four with all the drinking water it needs — and it can be made from just $4 worth of materials.
Solar desalination: Water covers more than two-thirds of Earth’s surface, but 97 percent of it is saltwater. The salt concentration in that water is far too high for our bodies to process — if you drank too much of it, you’d actually become dehydrated and die.
While the specifics vary, the basic idea is that the sun’s heat is applied to saltwater. The water evaporates, leaving behind the salt, and the water vapor is then be collected and condensed, leaving you with liquid freshwater.
Engineers have created countless solar desalination devices, but for the devices to make a difference in the places that need them the most, they need to be not only cheap and efficient, but also durable and long-lasting.
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