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Nature & Science

A Technology Turns A Sunshine Into Safe Water

Image Source: T.Dallas @ Shutterstock

In our daily lives, we often take for granted the quality of the water that comes out of our faucets. We use it for cooking, cleaning, and drinking without considering whether it is safe. However, this carefree attitude is not the reality in other parts of the world where water scarcity is a significant issue due to increasing demand and diminishing natural resources.

According to a 2010 report by the United Nations, over 2 billion people lack access to safe and clean drinking water, leading to millions of deaths each year from water-related diseases. Additionally, the growing demand for water in agriculture and energy production has further exacerbated the issue. In response to this crisis, scientists have developed a technology that harnesses sunlight, a resource abundant in many of these water-scarce regions, to address the water crisis.

A study published in the scientific journal Chem on February 7, 2019, highlighted a breakthrough in water purification technology. Researchers were able to eliminate nearly 100 percent of disease-causing bacteria, such as E. coli, in 10 liters of water using a photo catalyst called graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4), which undergoes chemical changes when exposed to light. This amount of purified water could meet the daily water needs of four healthy adult men.

The photo catalyst operates by drawing in electrons and forming compounds with oxygen, including hydrogen peroxide, which effectively eliminates harmful bacteria. This innovative approach allows for faster purification without introducing harmful metals into the water, as observed in previous research.

Efforts are underway to scale up this purification technology to meet the increasing demand for safe water. It is crucial to address the water crisis and ensure access to clean and safe water for present and future generations.

Image Source: T.Dallas @ Shutterstock

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