Puralytic: Solar Bag Technology for Water Purification

Water Purification Using Sun Power

Is it possible for the sun to provide the only source of power for a complete water purification system in a portable bag? Until now we would not give the idea much thought. But why not? We make “sun tea” where you put tea bags in a container of water and place the container outside in the sun to naturally brew the tea. So why not utilize the power of the sun to filter water?

Puralytics, a privately funded technology company located in Beaverton, Oregon is pioneering a new photochemical technology for water purification. They are building solutions to improve filtration for the global water challenges by combining the latest technological innovations with advanced engineering. The invention of the Solar Bag uses an effective and simple process for water purification.

The Puralytic Solar Bag has a backpack with handles that makes it easy to transport water to and from an available water source. Once the bag is filled with any water through the inlet debris filter, the bag is placed in the direct sunlight. It can either lie flat or hung from a tree or post. Once purified, the Solar Bag can be dispensed by a valve into a canteen or pot as required. By harnessing the power of the sun to purify water, the Puralytics Solar Bag will deliver clean drinking water that meets the World Health Organization (WHO) standards in remote areas.

The Solar Bag incorporates a 5 photochemical process that works synergistically to break down or remove harmful contaminants from the water:

Photocatalytic Oxidation: Previously unobtainable, selected wavelengths of UV light generate unprecedented levels of hydroxyl radicals without any chemical additives.

Photocatalytic Reduction: Reduces toxic species such as mercury, silver , arsenic, and chromium to more readily adsorbed materials.

Photolysis: Direct disassociation of contaminants by high intensity UV light, including atrazine, amoxicillin, DEET, and all estrogenic chemicals.

Photoadsorption: The catalyst strongly adsorbs heavy metals including mercury, lead, selenium, and arsenic, permanganate, and other compounds.

Photo Disinfection: Multiple wavelengths and high intensity UV disinfect pathogens more effectively than standard UV germicidal.

In remote areas, it is difficult to build a water well or some type of stationary water filtration system to provide clean drinking water to those who are not fortunate enough to have access to it. If there is not a way to accommodate these areas by constructing a water filtration system, then the Solar Bag is ideal for fulfilling a need with the latest technology. The process is environmentally sustainable and cost effective.

Charity Tuesday- Hurricane Irene Relief

Hurricane Irene was difficult to escape, even with forced evacuations. From the wide-spread media coverage and weathermen standing in soaked rain jackets by the beach, everyone saw  the hurricane this past weekend. Those on the North Carolina Coast all the way to Vermont experienced extremely severe weather. The hurricane caused massive power outages and flooding all along the eastern seaboard. Many places are still without electricity and running water. North Carolina’s governor, Bev Perdue stated in a press release Tuesday,

“Thousands of North Carolinians are still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene, but we’re all pulling together to get things back to normal. For people who want to help, we’ve established the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund.”

Money from the North Carolina Disaster Relief fund will go towards the rebuilding of homes and other volunteer efforts in the state of North Carolina. You can visit the website here: North Carolina Disaster Relief

If you would like to help in other effected cities of the United States, organizations such as the American Red Cross and AMERICARES are also offering assistance. While this hurricane was not as devastating as originally expected, homes still need to be rebuilt and people need your help. The Humane Society is also helping in hard hit areas such as North Carolina and Vermont.  The Director of the Humane Society of North Carolina said today,

“”It takes a couple of days for the animals to really come out of their hiding places. And so, two, three, four days down the road, all of the sudden you find that there’s animals walking through the neighborhood.”

For a complete list of trustworthy nonprofit organizations that are seeking your help, look here:  Hurricane Irene Relief

“January in July”: The Mysterious Case of Over-Cooling in the Summer

ColdIn the sweltering heat of the summer you may have noticed the contrast between the high temperatures outside and the frigid indoor temperatures of certain buildings. In the New York Times‘ Sunday Review, Elisabeth Rosenthal noted this common disparity, pointing out how she often needs to wear a sweatshirt indoors when the weather outside is close to 100 degrees.

The recommended setting for a thermostat during the summer is 78 degrees, which helps conserve energy costs and fights against increasing greenhouse gas emissions. However, many homes and businesses set their thermostats to temperatures in the low 70s or high 60s. Many are aware of this trend, which explains why some will go to a movie theater simply to escape the heat.

Rosenthal explains that this is likely attributed to the expectation of having “January in July.” Alan Hedge, a Cornell University professor specializing in Design and Environmental Analysis, states that “in the United States there is a strong marketing emphasis on cold. When you get a soda it’s chock full of ice. We serve beer chilled. We make a virtue of freezing things.”

And certainly it’s the people being chilled too. Low indoor temperatures were once a necessary trend, but many wonder if it’s necessary now when air conditioning has become such a staple of residences. Businesses across the world have started to reduce what is known as “over-cooling.” Whether it’s Italian energy company Eni or Japan’s Cool Biz initiative to increase thermostats to around 80 degrees, the issue has been noted and solutions are being offered.

While some may enjoy the cold or not deem it necessary to do anything about over-cooling, Rosenthal argues that the rising cost of energy and the increase of greenhouse gas emissions make this is a necessary endeavor.