We’re close to producing clean water from thin air
A substance called a metal-organic framework acts like a sponge to draw moisture out of the air
Scientists have figured out a way to harvest water from dry desert air using only the sun’s heat. The device could be a game-changer for approximately 2.1 billion people around the world who lack immediate access to clean drinking water.
The device is made of a porous material called a metal-organic framework (MOF) that’s housed within a clear plastic box. In simple terms, water vapour from the atmosphere condenses on the MOF material, which absorbs it like a sponge. As the water evaporates, it gets trapped and collected by the device.
How the tech works
A group of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley who created the device tested a proof-of-concept last year, and recently tried a prototype out in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The device produced around seven ounces of water after the researchers left it outside for one full day and night. While that’s not enough to hydrate you, the researchers said it’s relatively easy to scale up the device.
Researchers indicate that about 13 sextillion (1021 ) litres of water exist in the atmosphere at any given time. This is a recyclable natural resource with potential to water the arid regions of the world. MOFbased water harvesting system can reportedly achieve it