Australian researchers have developed a new light responsive technology that can convert seawater into drinking water within 30 minutes.
Monash University’s Department of Chemical Engineering researchers used a lattice-like crystal that is a metal-organic framework (MOF) to desalinate water. Through molecular sieving process, this hollow framework of pores separates salty solute in the seawater and absorbs salts and other impurities in the water in 30 minutes under dark conditions. The MOF is then regenerated so that it can be reused within four minutes and the adsorbed salts are removed with the help of sunlight. MOF helps in filtering out harmful particles from water and producing 139.5 litres of clean water for every kilogram of MOF per day.
This technology is claimed to be more energy-efficient than the present desalination practices, including reverse osmosis. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), water scarcity will be a major issue in the years to come. Although thermal desalination process through a mix of evaporation method and solar energy is mostly used for producing drinking water, it requires high energy.