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Inspired by a desert beetle, cactus and pitcher plant, researchers design a new material to collect water droplets

Phys.org/news (FEBRUARY 24, 2016 )

Titre : Inspired by a desert beetle, cactus and pitcher plant, researchers design a new material to collect water droplets

Organisms such as cacti and desert beetles can survive in arid environments because they’ve evolved mechanisms to collect water from thin air. The Namib desert beetle, for example, collects water droplets on the bumps of its shell while V-shaped cactus spines guide droplets to the plant’s body.

Phys.org/news (FEBRUARY 24, 2016 )

Présentation
As the planet grows drier, researchers are looking to nature for more effective ways to pull water from air.
The new system, described in Nature, is inspired by the bumpy shell of desert beetles, the asymmetric structure of cactus spines and slippery surfaces of pitcher plants. The material harnesses the power of these natural systems, plus Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces technology (SLIPS) developed in Aizenberg’s lab, to collect and direct the flow of condensed water droplets. This approach is promising not only for harvesting water but also for industrial heat exchangers.

The major challenges in harvesting atmospheric water are controlling the size of the droplets, speed in which they form and the direction in which they flow.

Source  : Harvard University

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

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