STATES CHRONICLE – Researchers have developed a solar powered device which can turn thin air into drinking water. Could this technology put an end to droughts? Scientists built this device to harvest water in the driest places on Earth, like deserts. The water harvester is efficient even when the humidity is lower than 20%. Nevertheless, this new technology is not going to become commercialized soon.
The new technology uses a certain type of material which transforms thin air into drinking water
Experts who developed this stated that this is a significant breakthrough which laid the foundation for a device which is bound to provide drinking water to the driest regions of our planet. Parts of the world which have scarce water resources will benefit from this advanced technology to improve the living conditions of people living in barren locations.
This technology is meant to change the lives of approximately four billion people living in arid areas who do not have access to safe water. This device might be used for at least one month every year to help people get life’s basic element to survive. A new study was released in the Science magazine, being conducted by Omar Yaghi, from the University of California, Berkeley and Evelyn Wang, from MIT, Massachusetts.
This solar powered device could provide drinking water for people living in arid areas
They have demonstrated that the new solar powered device can collect moisture from the air, transforming it into drinking water. Researchers claim that the amount of water held in the atmosphere represents 10% of the water from every freshwater lake on the planet, being a potentially massive water resource.
The revolutionary technology relies on a material known as a metal-organic framework (MOF) which was first designed by Omar Yaghi approximately twenty years ago. MOFs represent materials developed via stitching, putting together inorganic and organic metallic units, transforming them into porous frameworks with broad surface areas.
Yaghi explains that this material is solid, looking similar to sand where every granule is outfitted with many holes in which molecules and gasses are collected and then compacted. Thus, this material makes it possible to conserve massive amounts of gasses in some incredibly small receptacle. Yaghi and Wang have teamed up to build a device based on MOF, able to collect water vapors from the atmosphere.
The prototype is effective by only using two pounds of MOF crystals. They are compressed between a condenser plate and a solar absorber. When air goes through MOF, water vapors from the air remain trapped in the nanometer-sized pores, being then concentrated. This device could be very helpful for people living under harsh conditions, in arid areas.
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