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UK Research and Innovations (2012)


Fog Collector Arid


Pays/Région : Zone aride

Durée : sept. 12 - sept. 18

Référence projet : EP/J005401/1
Catégorie : Research Grant

Approximately one billion people live without access to clean water sources in rural areas of African, Asian and Latin American countries. Therefore the issue of water shortage and scarcity is one of major global concern. In contrast indigenous plants found in such arid and semi-arid locations readily cope with insufficient access to fresh water and lack of precipitation. Fog episodes occur frequently in many of these regions which help to augment water supplies for such native botanic species through dew and fog collection, as well as water vapour absorption. Inspired by nature, this project aims to fabricate 3-dimensional replicas which utilise fog interception for the provision of clean water in arid and semi-arid regions. The work will seek to gain a much better understanding of the science underlying the formation and behaviour of water drops on plant surfaces during fog episodes which enable a wide range of replicate structures to be developed. This cross-disciplinary programme of research is strongly underpinned by world leading expertise in the field of functional surfaces which will undertake the identification and replication of the structure, chemistry, and functionality of fog harvesting plants. Beneficiaries of the research will include international development, industry, as well as academic scientists working in the fields of surface science, materials science, and fluid mechanics. A successful outcome for this research programme would make a significant impact on the daily lives of millions of poor people living in arid climates

Impact prévu
The investigator has a good track record for translating basic scientific ideas developed in his laboratory through to commercialisation and the wider world. In this project, the primary driver is targeting not-for-profit causes which will include a dedicated internet website cataloguing the fog harvesting efficiencies of plants, education programmes for fog harvesting through botanic gardens, and international development (in collaboration with the United Nations Drylands Development Centre). In the latter case, it is envisaged that the provision of cost-effective clean water supply to communities living in arid climates would make a significant improvement to the lives of millions of people who currently have no access to clean water sources in rural arid and semi-arid areas of African, Asian, and Latin American countries. Commercial benefits envisaged from the work could include : improving the efficiency of fluid collection in applications such as food processing, filtration, and air dehumidifiers. In appropriate cases, Durham University will file patents and negotiate licensing agreements with industrial end-users.

Lead Research Organistion : Durham University

Financement : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Budget  : £1 190 209

UK Research and Innovations

Page publiée le 11 septembre 2022