Known for its rarity, the essential character of water to life and development earned it a nickname: blue gold. But unlike the precious metal, this liquid body is not only found in the soil. The air is composed of it, if not saturated. Based on this finding, a team from MIT and the University of California has designed a device that captures this moisture to transform it into water. Knowing that the resource lacks two thirds of the world’s population, the prototype represents ” a major breakthrough,” according to chemistry professor Omar Yaghi.
In humidity conditions of 20 to 30%, close to those of a desert, the device produced nearly three liters in 12 hours. For this, it uses solar energy and an organic metal. ” In the future, houses will not need to be connected to a network but will have a device that supplies water through the Sun, ” according to a Yaghi thesis. ” This work offers a new way of harvesting water in a low humidity air that is much more energy efficient than existing technologies ,” said MIT team leader Evelyn Wang. There is progress in the air.
MIT scientists build solar-power harvest to extract water from dry air https://t.co/S1GLk3HXVN
— Ken Ragsdale (@ken_ragsdale) April 15, 2017
According to the authors, the instrument could allow finally to exploit the huge abundance of water – estimated at 13 million billion liters worldwide – in the air around us. “This is the most important turning point in the challenge to be able to collect water from the air at low humidity,” notes Omar Yaghi , one of the study authors. “At the moment there are no other innovative ways to do it, at least without using extra energy.”