Radiation-based Water Purification

Table of Contents
The use of ionizing radiation for decontaminating water on Ranul.


Ionizing radiation breaks down the molecular structure of pathogens and chemical substances which cannot be extracted by filtering alone. Water treated this way is safer to drink or use in medical contexts, and more predictable in industrial applications.


Preparatory Filtering

Coarse contaminants are removed mechanically. Especially in municipal purification complexes, larger lumps of solid waste are extracted with nets and re-directed to dedicated waste basins. The water is then pumped through multiple layers of gravel and sand with decreasing granularity, and finally through fabric membranes with increasingly dense weaving.


Both the extracted waste and the filtered water are then subjected to heat and ionizing radiation, emitted by arrays of fire crystals. This is done in flat glass trays to optimize the suffusion with the radiation. Furthermore, the trays are surrounded with reflective metal to prevent the radiation from escaping.   An alternative approach, common in Hazu Ropuru and Hazu Kalpasu, is to spread out the glass trays under the open sky and use the radiation from Larevok and Larekon. In this case, reflective shielding below and next to the trays help with focusing the energy.   In either case, water which evaporates from the waste sludge is intercepted on slanted plates and re-introduced into the water cycle.

Interception of Ions

In a last step, the water is pumped through a section with sheets of electrically charged metals. Ions from the broken-down molecules are attracted to those and thus removed from the water. The exact choice of reactive materials depends on the use case. For example, drinking water is usually exposed to those which are likely to produce desirable, health-supporting minerals by bonding with those ions.

Social Impact

Radiation-based water purification greatly improved the overall health of the people using it, and made it significantly easier to settle outside the fertile regions of the sea shores and river banks.   Notably, this technology also allowed the Rilanga and Ran-E-Zu to establish self-supporting shelters in the Ralenlos Mountains. The lack of any municipal infrastructure, especially after the end of the Final War, made water a more precious resource than ever before. Consequently, working purification facilities were essential for the survival of the Rul species.
Access & Availability
filtration layers of increasing density
heat and ionizing radiation
using celestial radiation for boiling water in desert regions

Cover image: by Kathrin Janowski


Author's Notes

I hope the technology makes sense - not my area of expertise, so I mostly slapped together some almost-forgotten knowledge from my school years and a heavy dose of Wikipedia info.   I'll add pictures of the purification apparatus in the Op family's shelter once I get around to modeling it. It'll be fun figuring out how to break that thing. Muahahahaha... ^^

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12 Jan, 2022 21:54

This is a very grounded and interesting article! It does a great job establishing a technological level for the setting. How long has this technology been around? Has any of the other worlds had an effect on it, and have they shared it with those worlds?   A personal recommendation: placeholders detract attention from the text of an article by making a promise of illustration that they don't deliver on. They make an article feel more empty, not more full. That's my opinion, at least, so take it with a grain of salt!   I feel like I learned something while reading this, even if only by proxy. It feels like you've really thought it out! Great job!

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12 Jan, 2022 23:09

German below. Thank you so much for this article. What I like very much about it is that you have linked earthly technology with already conceivable technology and made it real. Since I recently visited a sewage treatment plant, I could at least see the first steps. I also particularly like the way you have shown the benefits. Of course, everyone can (hopefully) imagine how important clean water is, but in this case it was one of the reasons why the whole species was not wiped out, if you will. In that sense, very successful, enriching something "trivial" with epicness in a way. Great.     Vielen Dank für diesen Artikel. Was ich sehr daran mag, ist, dass du irdische Technik mit bereits denkbarer Technik verknüpft und wirklich gemacht hast. Da ich letztens eine Kläranlage besichtigte konnte ich zumindest gut die ersten Schritte erkennen. Besonders schön finde ich außerdem, wie du auch gleich den Nutzen dargestellt hast. Klar, jeder kann sich (hoffentlich) vorstellen, wie wichtig sauberes Wasser ist, aber in dem Fall war es einer der Gründe, warum die ganze Spezies nicht ausgelöscht wurde, wenn man so will. In dem Sinne sehr gelungen, etwas „Triviales“ gewisser Weise mit Epik zu bereichern. Toll.