Off-grid devices create drinking water

  1. Sustainability Problem: Water & Health
  2. Technology to address water-crisis: 
    • A device that converts sunlight (or other source of heat) into water and does not require high moisture nor electricity, becomes a solution for arid areas where many poverty-stricken populations live today.
    • MIT and UC Berkeley researchers developed this technology that is able to produce 2.8 liters of water per day for every kilogram of spongelike absorber it contains.
    • Crystalline powders called metal organic frameworks (MOFs) create 3D networks of metal atoms and sticky organic compounds linking together which can bind specific gases. A kilogram of MOFs is pressed into a thin sheet of porous copper metal which is placed between a solar absorber and a condenser plate.
    • References:

3. Organizational Stakeholders: Developing countries and their governments, farmers, residents and companies living in arid and poverty-stricken areas, any private sector companies and even communities committed to achieving SDGs, NGOs, researchers working on solving similar issues.

4. The first 3 steps in deployment:

  1. Currently, this MOF is zirconium-based which costs $150 a kilogram and too expensive to be broadly distributed. But zirconium can be successfully replaced with aluminum, which is 100x cheaper. First, find funding for further research to replace device with aluminum.
  2. Once enough many prototypes are created, these can be used for a pilot project to demonstrate effectiveness.
  3. Send to areas of most need, where use can be monitored and analyzed. Provide proper training on use and maintenance of the device.

By Sylwia Zieba, sz2673

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