Stop Hunting for That Oasis: This Device Can Create Water Out of Thin Air
Stop Hunting for That Oasis: This Device Can Create Water Out of Thin Air.
One stumbling block for global water accessibility is the reliance on "grid" structures for transit and access — as drinkable water currently needs to flow through pipes, creating the necessary infrastructure to ensure access in remote or inhospitable areas is extremely costly, time consuming, and even virtually impossible in some cases.
The work is a collaboration between Dr. Evelyn Wang’s Device Research Laboratory at MIT Mechanical Engineering, and Professor Omar M. Yaghi’s Reticular Chemistry Laboratory at University of California-Berkeley.
While powered by solar energy, its most important components are metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).
Professor Yaghi invented MOFs two decades ago — he explains they are materials made by stitching together organic and inorganic metallic units into porous frameworks, which are ideal for capturing and storing gases and liquids.
"The MOF [in this device], MOF-801, is capable of trapping water at extremely low humidities typical of arid regions of Earth where almost one-third of the world population lives.
As air passes through the MOF, water is trapped in its tiny pores and then concentrated," Prof. Yaghi told Sputnik.
It’s the first device capable of water capture and delivery under such conditions — but its application extends beyond drinking water and household purposes.
Certainly, there are many techniques for capturing water at high humidity, but none work at low humidity as this MOF device does.
Moreover, the average human needs roughly 330 milliliters (the equivalent of a standard Pepsi can) of water per day to survive — the device can collect that total in under an hour.