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February 20th, 2020 at 12:53 pm

What’s in your water? Researchers identify new toxic byproducts of disinfecting drinking water

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When phenols, compounds that are commonly found in drinking water, mix with chlorine, hundreds of unknown, potentially toxic byproducts are formed.

Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States’ most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts, says Carsten Prasse from Johns Hopkins University and his collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and Switzerland.

The researchers’ findings were published this past week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

“There’s no doubt that chlorine is beneficial; chlorination has saved millions of lives worldwide from diseases such as typhoid and cholera since its arrival in the early 20th century,” says Prasse, an assistant professor of Environmental Health and Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University and the paper’s lead author.

“But that process of killing potentially fatal bacteria and viruses comes with unintended consequences. The discovery of these previously unknown, highly toxic byproducts, raises the question how much chlorination is really necessary.”

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October 28th, 2018 at 11:43 am

How a team of innovators overcame the odds to create water from thin air

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Today, 790 million people — 11 percent of the world’s population — live without access to clean water.

Two years ago, XPrize, an international nonprofit organization, announced a global competition enticing innovators to find a sustainable and affordable way to bring potable water to those who aren’t privileged enough to have it now.

Skeptics told the competition organizers that it was impossible.

Nearly 100 submissions later, and XPrize found precisely what they were looking for — entrepreneurs who could design a minimalistic device that could reliably extract 2,000 liters of water from the atmosphere per day for no more than two cents per liter all using 100 percent renewable energy.

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August 15th, 2018 at 9:49 am

Drink that! An edible water orb

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Using reverse spherification, a biotech researcher in Bengaluru is making edible water orbs.

Bengaluru-based biotechnology researcher Richard Gomes, who has created an “edible water orb” from natural materials, has a modest disclaimer: the technique used by his team is not unique or even particularly new; it’s used in many biotech labs to hold delicate cells together. “The orb provides a stable and sterile environment for cells to grow,” says Gomes, resident biologist at Workbench Projects, a co-working makerspace in Bengaluru. Gomes and his team wanted to take the idea forward and create an alternative to plastic water bottles, potentially replacing them with edible and biodegradable globules that can hold around 50ml of water. They are exploring options to make these orbs bigger, so that they can hold around 100ml, and manufacture them commercially and at scale.

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July 25th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Amazing solar panel device is now open source

Anyone who has wanted to generate their own energy and filter their own water can now do so with an amazing open source device.

Speaking on stage at Inspirefest 2018, Chinese-Canadian mechanical and electrical engineer Eden Full Goh described what inspired her to develop a cheap, easy-to-build solar panel device called the SunSaluter.

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July 21st, 2018 at 10:42 am

Wind-powered Water Seer pulls 11 gallons of clean drinking water from thin air

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A new device that relies on simple condensation to collect clean water from the atmosphere promises to provide up to 11 gallons of safe drinking water without an external power source, greenhouse gas emissions, or adverse environmental impacts. What’s more, the innovative Water Seer collection device could potentially run forever, gifting generations of people with access to ‘liquid gold’ in areas of the world where a harsh climate or lack of infrastructure make access to clean drinking water a major problem. Water Seer is powered by a simple wind turbine, and the device could easily be the first step toward a sustainable, enduring solution to water shortages around the world.

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December 5th, 2017 at 2:53 pm

These solar panels that can pull clean drinking water out of the air just got a big boost

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Zero Mass Water makes solar panel arrays that pull clean drinking water from the air.

The $4,500 arrays just launched in the United States.

Zero Mass arrays could come in handy in areas where water sources are far away or scarce. Some homeowners have purchased arrays as an alternative to plastic water bottles.

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December 4th, 2014 at 11:26 am

Fontus – a bottle that turns air into water as you ride your bike

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Fontus, is a “self-filling water bottle for your bicycle.”

Do you always have to constantly stop to refill your water bottle on long bike rides. Kristof Retezár, a student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria, has come up with a new way to quench your thirst on the go. He has invented a little thing called Fontus, which he calls has invented a little thing called Fontus, which he calls a “self-filling water bottle for your bicycle..”

 

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September 24th, 2014 at 9:59 am

Schiller X1 water bicycle allows riders to safely ride on water

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Water bicycle

An innovative bicycle designed by Schiller allows people to safely ride on water.  It is the world’s most advanced water bicycle with a responsive steering mechanism, multi-speed drive train, twin propellers, and dual chamber pontoons. (Video and pics)

 

 

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September 4th, 2014 at 11:12 am

The Sahara Forest Project will turn the desert into a source of food, water, and energy

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The Sahara Forest Project

The Sahara Forest Project is the brainchild of three entrepreneurs, Charlie Paton, Michael Pawlyn and Bill Watts. The project turns the Sahara desert into a source for food, water, and energy. The Sahara Forest Project is a solution that combines seemingly disparate technologies – Concentrated solar power and Seawater Greenhouses – and turns them into a mean, green super-massive biomachine. The elegant system could potentially produce enough energy for all of Africa and Europe while turning one of the world’s most inhospitable regions into a flourishing oasis.

 

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August 16th, 2014 at 8:08 am

17 year-old student invents device that produces clean energy and fresh water

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Cynthia Sin Nga Lam and the H2Pro

The lineup of finalists in this year’s Google Science Fair is impressive. Among the 15 inventions designed to make the world a better place, Cynthia Sin Nga Lam’s submission is definitely a major standout. Concerned about the millions of people living without energy and water, the 17-year-old student scientist from Australia built H2Pro – a Portable Photocatalytic Electricity Generation and Water Purification Unit that produces both clean energy and fresh water at the same time.

 

 

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August 4th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

2050 and the Future of Infrastructure

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Futurist Thomas Frey: Much of the world around us has been formed around key pieces of infrastructure. Most see this as a testament to who we are as a society, and part of the cultural moorings we need to guide us into the future.

 

 

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July 24th, 2014 at 9:00 am

New spongelike material converts solar energy into steam

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The DLS that consists of a carbon foam supporting an exfoliated graphite layer.

MIT has developed a new material structure that generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure — a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam — is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water. When sunlight hits the structure’s surface, it creates a hotspot in the graphite, drawing water up through the material’s pores, where it evaporates as steam. The brighter the light, the more steam is generated.

 

 

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How 5G will affect our daily lives