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Stuck in the desert? Desalinate water with a cooking pot!

Society Sustainablity

The Doha Summer Camp is organised every summer for a couple of weeks before the school starts or after the school ends. Last August, eedama was invited to participate with two scientific experiments for the kids. We chose to show them that a lot can be done without plugging any device in any electrical plug: we showed them how to clean and desalinate water with very simple tools and the sunlight, and we showed them how to cook using a pizza box … and the sunlight as well!

The first experiment was water cleaning with a simple cooking pot, using the energy of the sun. Say you are stuck in the desert, you have a nice car and a lot of tools, an amazing beach is nearby, but … not fresh water to drink! How are you gonna make it? Most of the kids knew that salty sea water could not be drunk, but only few of them guessed how to make fresh water out of it. Still…  They were all able to build a water cleaner based on simple tools: a cooking pot, a bowl, a plastic sheet and … dirty water! You can see the two main steps of the building on this picture:

Water cleaning pot
Mini Solar Water Cleaning Kit Under Construction

The principle is relatively simple and very similar to the water cycle in nature, we explained it to them thanks to the following drawings:

Water cleaning simple principle
Principle of water cleaning with a cooking pot
Water Cycle
the Water Cycle in Nature: a simplified sketch

As you see, the principle of the cooking pot experiment is really similar to what happens in nature. And the numbers on the 2nd picture correspond to the main steps on the first one.

When we finally put the water cleaner in the sun for water to start to evaporate, Matt interviewed Mia, and this is how she explained what was going to happen to us:

Solar Water Cleaning with a Cooking Pot from eedama on Vimeo.

And she did drink it, and it was … simply water!