Breaking

This box sucks pure water out of dry desert air

Latest news

    For many of us, clean, drinkable water comes right out of the tap. But for billions it’s not that simple, and all over the world researchers are looking into ways to fix that. Today brings work from Berkeley, where a team is working on a water-harvesting apparatus that requires no power and can produce water even in the dry air of the desert. Hey, if a cactus can do it, why can’t we?

    While there are numerous methods for collecting water from the air, many require power or parts that need to be replaced; what professor Omar Yaghi has developed needs neither.

    The secret isn’t some clever solar concentrator or low-friction fan — it’s all about the materials. Yaghi is a chemist, and has created what’s called a metal-organic framework, or MOF, that’s eager both to absorb and release water.

    It’s essentially a powder made of tiny crystals in which water molecules get caught as the temperature decreases. Then, when the temperature increases again, the water is released into the air again.

    Yaghi demonstrated the process on a small scale last year, but now he and his team have published the results of a larger field test producing real-world amounts of water.

    They put together a box about two feet per side with a layer of MOF on top that sits exposed to the air. Every night the temperature drops and the humidity rises, and water is trapped inside the MOF; in the morning, the sun’s heat drives the water from the powder, and it condenses on the box’s sides, kept cool by a sort of hat. The result of a night’s work: 3 ounces of water per pound of MOF used.

    That’s not much more than a few sips, but improvements are already on the way. Currently the MOF uses zicronium, but an aluminum-based MOF, already being tested in the lab, will cost 99 percent less and produce twice as much water.

    With the new powder and a handful of boxes, a person’s drinking needs are met without using any power or consumable material. Add a mechanism that harvests and stores the water and you’ve got yourself an off-grid potable water solution.

    “There is nothing like this,” Yaghi explained in a Berkeley news release. “It operates at ambient temperature with ambient sunlight, and with no additional energy input you can collect water in the desert. The aluminum MOF is making this practical for water production, because it is cheap.”

    View the original article: https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/08/this-box-sucks-pure-water-out-of-dry-desert-air/

    He says there are already commercial products in development. More tests, with mechanical improvements and including the new MOF, are planned for the hottest months of the summer.

    In the same category are

    Wirecutter’s best deals: Save $50 on Beats Solo3 Bluetooth headphones Beats Solo3 Bluetooth Headphones Street price: $200; deal price: $150 Available in Asphalt Gray, these Bluetooth headphones, part of the Beats Neighb...
    MIT leads the way in spaghetti-based innovation Basically, when you bend a spaghetti noodle in half, it breaks in the middle, but sends a secondary wave back along each side, called the "snap-back e...
    Powered by $25 million, Arcadia Power looks to expand its distributed renewable energy services As renewable energy use surges in the U.S. and the effects of global climate change become more visible, companies like Arcadia Power are pitching a n...
    No, this device can’t ‘enhance’ your intuition The device is called Intuition Pro, and it basically records galvanic skin response (GSR), which is changes in the electrical conductivity of your ski...
    Samsung’s new mesh routers use Plume’s WiFi optimization tech While the SmartThings hub makes Samsung's offering unique, it also has some notable features on the WiFi side as well. Samsung partnered with Plume, o...
    Hollywood Floats Space Force Conspiracy Theories: ‘Designed to Make You Forget About the Mueller Investigation’ Hollywood celebrities ripped into the Trump administration’s plans to create a Space Force program, decrying it as everything from a waste of money to...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.