This New Device Could Be The Latest Water Source In The Desert

new device in desert

A team of researchers developed a new technique for pulling water from thin air.

Researchers at MIT or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley developed a new technique for pulling water from thin air. This new device makes use of something called an MOF (metal-organic framework). These compounds formed from metals and organic molecules are extremely porous, capable of pulling both water, methane, and carbon dioxide from the air, making future applications potentially limitless, besides providing a new water source.

This Is A New Device for Drawing Water from Thin Air

The MOF powder, made from a combination of adipic acid and zirconium metal, is placed in a device called a water collector, which then absorbs water molecules directly from the air. Even in the driest parts of Earth, water still floats in the air as evaporated particles.

Once the MOF pulls in all the water it can and becomes completely saturated, the powder can then be heated to release it. As the water frees from the substrate, it gathers at the bottom of the collector. In fact, the current prototype uses sunlight to heat the MOF and release the water. As such, it requires no external sources of energy.
Previous methods using materials like zeolites require large amounts of energy to free up the water once it is trapped. Not so with the MOF design. According to researcher’s calculations, larger amounts of powder could produce more water. Two pounds of MOF might be able to produce as much as three liters in a twelve hour period.The new device prototype was described in a paper released by the journal Science. It works in areas with as low as twenty percent humidity. On larger scales, it could be used in order to provide an emergency water source in drought situations. Or it could work for small communities that have little or no access to public drinking water supplies.

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Christopher Hall completed his studies at the California Institute of Technology, Caltech, with a degree in Engineering and Applied Science. That was three years ago. At present he is working as a Computation and Neural Systems engineer in Ontario. He used to write tech reviews and overviews for several small online publications before he joined the ArgyllFreePress team. Christopher is always scouring the internet for fresh tech news and anything related to gadgets, smart-phones, tablets and laptops.