Follow Us

Scientists can now Extract Fresh Water from Air Using Only Sunlight

By Ana Verayo, | April 14, 2017

Researchers estimate that up to 13 trillion liters of water in the air around us can be potentially extracted into clean water. (Hyunho Kim/MIT)

Researchers estimate that up to 13 trillion liters of water in the air around us can be potentially extracted into clean water. (Hyunho Kim/MIT)

Scientists have created a groundbreaking device that can extract fresh water from the air around it using only sunlight - even in places with humidity as low as 20 percent. This breakthrough device can become a life saver for people and communities who live in dry, arid, and remote areas and those who have limited access to clean water.

Like Us on Facebook

A team of scientists and researchers from the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the University of California, Berkeley developed this "solar powered harvester" that uses a unique material called metal-organic framework (MOF) which can harvest water from the air. Researchers are still working on their new prototype but have tested it in real-world conditions.

According to Omar Yaghi of UC Berkeley, it has been a challenging feat to harvest water from the air especially during low humidity. "Right now the only way to do it is using your electric dehumidifier at home that produces "very expensive water," Yaghi added.

 

In this new study, researchers used sunlight instead of electricity. When sunlight heats this MOF material, it releases water vapor and then condenses to form water. During testing, this water harvesting device managed to pull in 2.8 liters of water from the air even with just 20 to 30 percent humidity present. It is more efficient than an electric dehumidifier since this amount of water was produced with only one kilogram of this MOF material in just 12 hours.

Also, scientists say that this water harvesting device can be scaled up for a bigger demand like an entire household.

All around the world, many are experiencing water shortage and problematic access to clean water. Researchers estimate that up to 13 trillion liters of water in the air around us can be potentially extracted into clean water.

This new study was published in the journal Science. 

©2017 Telegiz All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission
Real Time Analytics