Solar energy is useful in many different ways. In some industrial and other processes, sunlight is used to detoxify water or air. Solar energy is free heat that can be used to heat water or air to a proper temperature where chemicals are neutralized.
This process takes two basic forms, similar to the two basic forms of solar energy used: solar photovoltaics and solar thermal.
One process uses photochemical reactions where ultra-violet light from the sun is absorbed by chemicals. These chemicals in turn cause a reaction.
Some photocatalysts are hydrogen peroxide, Ferrioxalate and Titanium Dioxide. For example, hydrogen peroxide (still commonly used as an antiseptic) reacts with ultra-violet rays, forming hydroxyl radicals that can rapidly destroy contaminants.
Another process is called thermal reactions. Here, heat is collected and concentrated in conjunction with themalcatalysts, various chemicals that react with the sunlight to create more heat. These thermalcatalysts are aided by solar collectors that concentrate sunlight (sometimes into an oxidation chamber), thus raising water to a very high temperature.
Solar energy can also be used to clean the air. Airborne contaminants are destroyed by a reaction between ultraviolet light and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2).
Air can also be heated naturally to a temperature high enough to destroy pathogens and other contaminants. This is used in processes including indoor air treatment, deodorizing, air disinfection and some agri-food processes, for example. Solar thermal concentrating collectors can also be used to intensify the heat.
You can also buy portable solar detoxification units, useful for cabins, camping or mobile camps. Aqua Sun makes a product called the PWP-C Portable, a 12-volt Powered Water Purification System. This system can produce clean, safe drinking water from almost any source, whether that's a creek, pond, well or any fresh water source. It can produce up to a gallon (3.7 liters) per minute.
Solar Detoxification is just one more example of the sun's healing and cleansing power.