Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley have developed a device that can harvest fresh water out of the air, even in a dry desert.
The device uses a substance called a metal-organic framework, or MOF, that acts like a sponge to suck moisture out of the air.
While the device is only a small prototype, the scientists behind the project said it could be “scaled up quickly.”
Scientists have figured out a way to harvest water from dry desert air using only the sun’s heat. The device could be a game-changer for the approximately 2.1 billion people around the world who lack immediate access to clean drinking water.
The device is made of a porous material called a metal-organic framework (MOF) that’s housed within a clear plastic box. In simple terms, water vapor from the atmosphere condenses on the MOF material, which absorbs it like a sponge. As the water evaporates, it gets trapped and collected by the device.
The group of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley who created the device tested a proof-of-concept last year, then recently tried a prototype out in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The device produced around 7 ounces of water after the researchers left it outside for one full day and night. While that’s not enough to hydrate you, the researchers said in a video posted by UC Berkeley that it’s relatively easy to scale up the device.
The scientists published the results of their field trial in the journal Science Advances last week.
“There is nothing like this,” Omar Yaghi, one of the authors of the report, told Phys.org. “This laboratory-to-desert journey allowed us to really turn water harvesting from an interesting phenomenon into a science.”
How the technology works
The MOF material is made up of metal- and carbon-based organic molecules, …read more
Source:: Business Insider