Solar powered device harvests water from air

Fresh water can be found in rivers and lakes. However, most of this are getting scarce because of daily human activities. Water is a valuable resource but it is constantly neglected by most of people. However, with present issue of water scarcity atmospheric water is the solution since it is 10% of the total freshwater here in earth. The atmosphere is full of water vapors which waiting to be harvested. There many attempts of converting air into water. Many have successful stories of water conversion.Water-Gen is one the successful stories, which uses the condensation process that through a set of plastic “leaves” to funnel air in various directions. Moreover, MIT and Berkeley have developed their own version of the device in case there is water scarcity.

Solar-Powered Device Converts Air Into Water Even at Low Humidity using MOF

This device is solar powered which can work in low-humidity. The solar powered device aims to provide cheap and safe water especially in arid areas.Water is extracted from thin air which is made out of from metal organic framework (MOF). This harvester is invented by the university researchers.  It combines metals and organic molecules to form porous structures that is excellent in storing gases and liquids. It can store such as substances like hydrogen, carbon dioxide, or natural gas. And also, these also use an MOF made out of zirconium metal and adipic acid for other research purposes. Which enables the device to harvest water vapor out the air.
When the MOF is heated by the sunlight it allows the water to enter inside the condenser of the same temperature as the outside air. Next, the water vapour condenses into liquid form and drips into a collector then it is harvested. Upon testing the prototype, the researchers used a kilogram of the MOF material and used it on the roof of an MIT building. Amazingly,  for 12 hours it collected 2.8 liters of water with atmospheric conditions of 20 to 30% humidity. Omar Yaghi, one of the one of paper’s senior author from Berkeley, said that it is always been a challenge of water harvesting at low humidity conditions. This invention is a major break through in the long-standing challenge of water harvesting.

Developments Underway

“There is no other way to do that right now, except by using extra energy. Your electric dehumidifier at home ‘produces’ very expensive water,” he said. Up to now they used that MOF material but they could probably improve its capacity. Yaghi believes that other MOFs material could potentially double the present absorption capacity of the current MOF prototype. In which the current design is 20% of its weight in water. The researchers explained that if there is better harvesting technology the device could have higher efficiency. “There is a lot of potential for scaling up the amount of water that is being harvested,” said Yaghi. “It is just a matter of further engineering now.”