About 2.6 billion people – about half of developing world - lack access to safe water (WHO). Excessive amounts of microbes, chemicals or pollutants make some water unsafe to drink and cause water-related diseases. As a result contaminated water must be treated before it can be used for human consumption. In her internship at IMDEA Aqua in Madrid, Martina Reisner will engage in the design and development of hybrid solar photovoltaic / thermal / photochemical devices and the development of low-cost clean water photovoltaic systems for solar disinfection in developing countries.
IMDEA Agua, a public foundation, bases her research on water resources quality and waste-water treatment and management. The main scientific areas from which this research is approached are multidisciplinary, incorporating for example Protection Technologies, Biotechnology, Hydrology, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry and Ecology.
The internship will be accompanied by Dr. Marta Vivar García who had been working for three years as postdoctoral researcher at the Australian National University (ANU, Australia) where she developed the SOLWAT (Solar Water Purification and Renewable Electricity Generation) system. This system is the first autonomous optically adapted photocatalytic–photovoltaic system for water purification. It offers a cost-effective, hybrid solar electricity and water purification system for meeting the needs for electricity and clean water. The concept improves utilisation of solar spectrum by combining photocatalysis for water purification using the UV component and photovoltaics for electricity generation using the visible and near infrared light components, combined in a fully integrated compact system.
The internship as well as the bachelor thesis aims to investigate porous titania coatings based on Snow Globe Coating, a novel coating method to be implemented and tested in a SOLWAT system to obtain porous titania coatings. The Snow Globe Coating method was invented by Dr. Angelika Basch during a Marie Curie Fellowship at the Australian National University (ANU, Australia) and and won a price at the Ideenwettbewerb Science Park Graz 2016. The method uses the fact that thick, uniform and porous coatings of relatively large particles can be achieved by dispersion followed by settling by gravity, as in a children’s snow globe.
More information on IMDEA Agua (in English): www.water.imdea.org