Water Purification Laser Treated Metal
The US Army Research Office (ARO) is funding researchers at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, for a study focused on a laser-processed aluminum panel that efficiently concentrates solar energy to evaporate and purify contaminated water. Put simply, this process transmors regular shiny aluminum to a pitch black color, making it highly absorptive, as well as super-wicking. This material is then used for the solar water purification technique. Read more for a video and additional information.



The blackened surface retains nearly 100 percent of the energy it absorbs from the sun to rapidly heat the water, while the wicking surface structures change the inter-molecular bonds of the water, thus increasing the efficiency of the evaporation process. This aluminum panel avoids contaminants by pulling a thin layer of water out of the reservoir and directly onto the sunlight-absorbing surface for heating as well as evaporation.

Brita Ultra Max Filtering Dispenser, Extra Large 18 Cup, Black
  • SPACE EFFICIENT: The BPA-Free UltraMax Water Dispenser holds 18 cups or 1.13 gallons of water which is great for families and fits neatly on countertops and refrigerator shelves.
  • CLEANER AND GREAT TASTING: The Brita standard filter reduces chlorine (taste and odor), copper, mercury, zinc and cadmium impurities found in tap water for cleaner great tasting water for the whole family. Substances reduced may not be in all users' water
  • FILTER CHANGE REMINDER: A helpful sticker indicator on the water dispenser lets you keep track of when you last changed your water filter and when it needs to be replaced. Replace Brita filters every 40 gallons or every 2 months
  • EASY POUR: This large, 18 cup filtered water dispenser has a spigot that makes pouring easy
  • REDUCE WASTE & SAVE: One Brita standard water filter can replace 300 standard 16 oz water bottles which saves you money and reduces plastic waste

The US Army runs on water, so there is particular interest in basic materials research that could lead to advanced technologies for generating safe drinking water. The combined super-wicking and light-absorbing properties of these aluminum surfaces may enable passive or low-power water purification in the field,” said Dr. Evan Runnerstrom, program manager at ARO.