Researchers found a way to get water from desert air. Researchers at MIT and UC Berkeley celebrated the World Water Day by announcing a device that can extract water directly from the driest desert air on Thursday.
The team of researchers presented the new technology in a Science article in 2017 and now they are closing in on the design and tested it in in Tempe, Arizona.
MIT researchers found a way to get water from desert air, as usual, there are significant limitations in pulling water out of the air such as they sometimes need humidities upwards of 50 percent and some require a lot of energy input. The team’s latest technology doesn’t require energy input and works passively. The design can even work in places with humidity as low as 10 percent.
Evelyn Wang, the Gail E. Kendall Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the team says in journal Nature Communications report that their device gives positive output and can extract potable water.
Wang said, “Naturally, it drew a lot of attention. It got a lot of hype and some criticism.”
The essential element of the design is super-high surface area materials called a metal-organic framework (MOFs) which runs completely on solar power. The device can capture, store and release chemical compounds.
It captures atmospheric moisture then stores it in its pores. Then release the moisture using sunlight as liquid water and collected on a cooler lower surface.
She also added, “The test showed that we can actually harvest the water, even at subzero dewpoints,” “We want to see water pouring out!”