Nav: Home

Solar power plan set to bring fresh water to out-of-reach villages

January 16, 2017

A solar-powered purification system could provide remote parts of India with clean drinking water for the first time.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh are developing low-cost, low-energy technology to decontaminate sewage water in villages.

Chemists and engineers are using state-of-the-art solar energy and water filtration technologies to develop the simple systems. The initiative will not only provide safer drinking water, but could also help reduce the spread of disease, researchers say.

There is no systematic treatment of sewage in rural India. The Indian Government has focused on purifying contaminated water in rivers and streams, but the situation could be greatly improved by tackling the problem at source, the team says.

To make contaminated water safe to drink, visible traces of waste are first removed using filters. Next, any remaining organic matter and bacteria is broken down. The team is adapting its existing technologies to power this second stage in the decontamination process.

Their system uses sunlight to generate high-energy particles inside solar-powered materials, which activate oxygen in the water to incinerate harmful pollutants and bacteria.

Dr Aruna Ivaturi, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Chemistry, who is involved in the project, said: "We are aiming to provide people in rural India with a simple off-grid water decontamination system. This could be achieved by simply fitting our modified solar-activated materials to containers of contaminated water positioned in direct sunlight."

The team hopes to incorporate technologies developed during the five-month pilot project into larger-scale initiatives that deal with water contamination - a major problem in the developing world. Around 77 million people in India do not have access to safe drinking water - more than any other country in the world.

The project is being carried out in partnership with the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Pune.

Professor Neil Robertson, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Chemistry, who is leading the project, said: "Working closely with our Indian partners, we aim to harness the sun's energy to tackle a huge problem that affects many people around the world."
-end-


University of Edinburgh

Related Disease Articles:

Contact sports associated with Lewy body disease, Parkinson's disease symptoms, dementia
There is mounting evidence that repetitive head impacts from contact sports and other exposures are associated with the neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and dementia.
In kidney disease patients, illicit drug use linked with disease progression and death
Among individuals with chronic kidney disease, hard illicit drug use was associated with higher risks of kidney disease progression and early death.
Parkinson's disease among patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease appeared more likely than patients without the disorder to develop Parkinson's disease, while anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy for inflammatory bowel disease was associated with reduced incidence of Parkinson's in a new study that analyzed administrative claims data for more than 170 million patients.
Despite reductions in infectious disease mortality in US, diarrheal disease deaths on the rise
Deaths from infectious diseases have declined overall in the United States over the past three decades.
Defects on regulators of disease-causing proteins can cause neurological disease
Mutations in human PUMILIO1, a gene that regulates Ataxin1 production, cause conditions similar to spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1).
More Disease News and Disease Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...