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solarwaterstill.pdf

  1. 1. Solar Water Still for Saltwater Purification Casey Ballard, Alex Kasko, John Thomas Lencke, David Traynham BE 4120, Biosystems Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 29631 Introduction The two major ways to desalinate water are thermal desalination and reverse osmosis. Most forms of thermal water desalination are expensive due to the energy required to vaporize water. One solution to this issue is using solar radiation. Solar water purification is a simple, cost-efficient way of making clean drinking water. This project was to demonstrate the efficiency of creating a solar water still out of cheap parts often found around the house. Both clean and dirty saltwater were used to determine if the solar water still could successfully remove both salt and dirt. Using two soda bottles and a PVC pipe, we were not able to produce drinkable water from salt water in 2 hours. Materials & Methods • Two 2L Soda Bottles • 14 in by ½ in Diameter PVC Pipe • PVC Cement • Drill & Drill Bits • HOBO & HOBOware • Two Different Water Samples • Graduated Cylinder • Refractometer • Spectrophotometer & Cuvettes • Infrared Gun Two empty 2 L soda bottles were used, and the soda caps were trimmed to the diameter of the PVC pipe at 0.75 in. The caps and pipe were fused together using PVC cement to create an insulated seal. Once dried, a hole was drilled to allow the HOBO temperature probe to monitor the water for two hours. Two runs were done with two water samples using clean salt water and dirty salt water. Over the course of two hours the water level was monitored, and the HOBO took temperature readings every minute. The water volume was taken at the end to view the total evaporation. Salinity was measured of both the original and distilled sample using the refractometer. Absorbance readings were also taken for each sample. Finally, calculations were developed for the evaporation rates and modeling. Mathematical Modeling Conclusion The solar water still was not able to produce potable water after two hours. Performing more runs of the same water could be used to reduce the concentration of salt in the distillate and build up more water with less salt. The brackish water also had more solids in it, reducing distillation efficiency. A more efficient still would also help to create more distilled water at the top of the system. Insulation rated for higher heats would be better because the bottle reached a hot enough temperature to denature the PVC glue, causing water and heat loss. Having the pipe flush to the bottom cap of the system would also increase water gathering in the top bottle because it increases the area of the evaporated water. References Drapcho, Caye. BE 4120, Unpublishedlecturenotes. Clemson University, 2022. Gleick, P. (2008,July 23). Why don't we get our drinking water from the ocean by taking the salt out of seawater? Scientific American. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-dont-we-get- our-drinking-water-from-the-ocean Kumar, A. (2008, February 7). How to make | SolarWater Purifier / DistillationSyster with PlasticBottles. YouTube. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkLMk2HVqEc Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Dr. Drapcho for her help throughout this project and for providing the necessary information. Results Figure 1: HOBO Graph of Clean Saltwater Figure 2: HOBO Graph of Dirty Saltwater Measurement Clean Salt Water Dirty Salt Water Original Brix 4.0 4.5 Original Salinity (ppt) 31.5 35.5 Distillate Brix 0.5 3.0 Distillate Salinity (ppt) 4 23.7 Initial Volume 500 mL 500 mL Final Volume 473.5 mL 490 mL Table 1: Results of the two distillations, clean and dirty salt water The temperature of our first run varied over time leading to a sporadically increasing curve. This was due to inconsistent cloud cover while our second run was much more consistent due to almost no cloud cover. The seal between our two caps and the PVC pipe was not ideal which led us to lose distillate from our top chamber. This would be remedied in future studies. Due to this loss, not enough sample could be extracted for our absorbance readings but especially in our dirty saltwater study the sample was visibly clearer. We were still able extract samples for our refractometer measurements.

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