(OilPrice) A new sterilization system uses nanomaterials to convert 80 percent of the energy in sunlight into heat, and could be a boon for more than 2.5 billion people who lack adequate sanitation.
The technology, described online in the early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers two ways that solar steam can be used for sterilization—one setup to clean medical instruments and another to sanitize human waste.
"Sanitation and sterilization are enormous obstacles without reliable electricity," says Naomi Halas, director of the Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) at Rice University. "Solar steam's efficiency at converting sunlight directly into steam opens up new possibilities for off-grid sterilization that simply aren't available today."
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