A new device has been developed by researchers that can produce drinkable water from the driest of arid region air. There is some moisture in the air even in the extreme dry locations on Earth and a realistic method to take out that moisture can be a means to endurance in such bone-dry places. Scientists, comprising Sameer Rao from MIT in the United States, have now confirmed that such an extraction system can function.
The tool has been field-tested in the extremely arid atmosphere of Tempe, Arizona, substantiating the likelihood of the new technique, the scientists mentioned. The system, rooted in comparatively new high-surface-area substances known as a metal-organic framework (MOF), can take out drinkable water from the driest of desert air, having relative humidity as low as 10%, they mentioned.
The existing techniques for mining water from atmosphere need much higher levels—100% humidity for fog-gathering techniques, and above 50% for dew-gathering refrigeration-based devices, which also need huge energy amounts for cooling.
The novel system can potentially fill an unsatisfied requirement for water even in the driest places in the world, said the scientists. The test device was motorized by sunlight only and though, it was a tiny proof-of-concept tool, if advanced, its productivity would be corresponding to over a quarter-liter of water daily for each kg of MOF, mentioned the researchers.
With a most favorable material selection, productivity can be as high as 3x that of the existing version, stated Hyunho Kim. Not only does this device functions at lower humidity compared to dew-gathering ones, but these systems also need compressors and pumps that can exhaust, said Rao.
The existing adaptation can only function over a single night-and-day cycle with daylight, Kim said; however, “constant functioning is also likely by using plentiful low-grade heat resources such as waste heat and biomass,” he further added.