On survival reality TV shows, people like Bear Grylls often use sunlight and plastic to turn filthy water into drinking water.
Academics have now added carbon-dipped paper as a third element and this solution may well turn this survival tactic into an inexpensive, but highly efficient way to turn contaminated water and salt water into potable water for personal use. The idea was described in a study published online in the journal  Global Challenges on Jan. 30, 2017 and it could help address global drinking water shortages, especially in regions that have been struck by natural disasters, and developing areas.
Qiaoqiang Gan, PhD, associate professor of electrical engineering in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was the lead researcher on this study. He notes that their solution uses low cost materials and the system that was created makes near maximum use of the solar energy during evaporation. The …