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Low-Cost Gel Harvests Drinking Water From Dry Desert Air

SciTechDaily (MAY 30, 2022)

Titre : Low-Cost Gel Harvests Drinking Water From Dry Desert Air

More than a third of the world’s population lives in drylands, areas that experience significant water shortages. Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a unique solution that could help people in these areas access clean drinking water.

SciTechDaily (MAY 30, 2022)

The researchers developed a low-cost gel film comprised of abundant materials that can pull water from the air in even the driest climates. The materials that facilitate this reaction cost just $2 per kilogram, and a single kilogram can produce more than 6 liters ( 1.6 gallons) of water per day in areas with less than 15% relative humidity and 13 liters ( 3.4 gallons) in areas with up to 30% relative humidity.

The researchers used renewable cellulose and a common kitchen ingredient, konjac gum, as a main hydrophilic (attracted to water) skeleton. The open-pore structure of gum speeds up the moisture-capturing process. Another designed component, thermo-responsive cellulose with hydrophobic (resistant to water) interaction when heated, helps release the collected water immediately so that overall energy input to produce water is minimized.

Other attempts at pulling water from desert air are typically energy-intensive and do not produce much. And although 6 liters does not sound like much, the researchers say that creating thicker films or absorbent beds or arrays with optimization could drastically increase the amount of water they yield.


Annonce (SciTechDaily)

Page publiée le 16 janvier 2023