A solar still is a device that takes dirty or salty water and converts it into safe drinking water. It works by using the heat from the sun to heat up water into vapor, which is then condensed at the top and sent to a separate storage container. The downside to this device is that in order to supply a small family with enough water, requires a solar still that is very large and expensive.
Recently scientists at the University of Texas in Austin developed a new material that speeds up the process of evaporation. This new development will greatly reduce the size of the system by up to 12X. If the technology can be done at an affordable price, it will also help bring clean drinking water to millions around the world.