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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Steam from sun without boiling

Recently scientists have come up with interesting new ways to convert water directly into steam without having to boil it. This techniques uses nanoparticles that are capable of absorbing photons , when solar energy is concentrated on these nanoparticles they would absorb the rays. 

When these nanoparticles come in contact with water the absorbed energy converts the water directly into steam. Steam has multiple uses -- One of them is  generating electricity. The other use can be purifying water you can simply collect the steam and condense it to get pure water. This would be very useful for people who don't have access to clean water. 

Imagine you live by the side of the sea or you are travelling on ship. This technology can be used to produce pure water from sea water without having to boil it. The efficiency is pretty high 80 -90% of the energy absorbed is ultimately transformed into heat energy that results in steam. It is much higher as compared to steam engines and steam turbines.

The Rice University video shown below gives a demonstration of how water can be converted into steam directly without having to boil it the only thing you need are those nanoparticles that are capable of absorbing solar spectrum . 

While initially the researchers expect this breakthrough to be used in sanitation but one is sure that it will ultimately expand to water purification and energy generation as well. 

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