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Palm Oil Shell: Innovative Solution in Solar Distillation to Fresh Water Crisis



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Palm Oil Shell: Innovative Solution in Solar Distillation to Fresh Water Crisis

InfoSAWIT, MEDAN – Water is the crucial need for mankind but as the population gets increasing and so do the industries, fresh water supply in the world gets more decreasing. Only about 3% of the total water in the world is fresh one while the rests, 97% is salt water in the sea that could not be directly consumed. As the impact, many will get hurt for having heath issue and even go to an end for consuming polluted water.

To solve it, sea water purifying technology using solar steel distillation method is being developed. This method takes advantages on solar – the abundant source of renewable energy. It changes salt water (sea water) to be fresh water. Solar steel, a simple device that takes advantages on solar energy, has been effective to produce fresh water from sea water.

Even though it has big potential, solar steel faces the challenges in its productivity. But a group of research from Universitas Sumatera Utara, Indonesia and Muroran Institute of Technology, Japan found one material that could escalate solar distillation to be more efficient namely in Indonesia. They found that palm oil shell which is taken as industrial waste, has the big potential in solar distillation application.

Palm oil shell has highly thermal characteristic. It absorbs and keeps solar effectively. In the context of solar distillation, palm oil shell would escalate the temperature in distillation device, accelerate water evaporation, and produce more fresh water.

“One main advantage from palm oil shell is the high thermal characteristic. It absorbs and keeps solar effectively. In the context of solar distillation, it would accelerate water evaporation and produce more fresh water,” Profesor Himsar said, as InfoSAWIT quoted from the official page of Unversitas Sumatera Utara, Friday (26/4/2024).

He also mentioned that the other advantages by using palm oil shell is that it is abundant in big numbers within low cost and even free. This would help to be the alternative within effective costs compared to other materials that could be more expensive. Besides, palm oil shell in solar distillation would support sustainable environment by reducing industrial wastes that should be thrown away or processed.

Their research also showed that palm oil shell applied in solar distillation would efficiently escalate exertion which is the measurement to know how good the device is to change available energy to be more useful energy.

In their study, solar distillation within 5 kilograms palm oil shell would efficiently get 2,879% exertion, while in conventional solar distillation it reached 2,255% exertion. This result showed that palm oil shell would significantly escalate exertion effectively, make solar distillation be more effective and useful.

By taking advantages on palm oil industrial waste, solar distillation would be more effective and useful in the regions within limited access to get fresh water.

“In a whole, palm oil shell would be the innovative and sustainable solution for the future energy and environmental challenges. By applying palm oil shell, we could change waste to be valuable source and positively contribute to the sustainability of our planet,” Prof. Himsar said. (T2)


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