Scientists have just accomplished an astonishing feat that could lead to a major breakthrough in tackling one major world problem.
Scientists have just made a discovery that could lead to a major breakthrough in tackling a worldwide crisis that continues to vex millions upon millions of people on a daily basis. Scientists from the University of California at Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have invented a device that can pull water from thin air in a much more efficient way than had been done in the past.
Researchers said their new device uses less power and is able to suck water from much drier environments than had been attempted with similar technologies. It works by combining metals with organic compounds to create a porous powder that soaks up water hanging in the atmosphere.
When the pores are filled, the water is released through a special application of heat. If the technology could be further refined, it could help untold numbers of people in developing regions of the world who struggle to get access to clean drinking water.
“This is a major breakthrough in the long-standing challenge of harvesting water from the air at low humidity,” said Omar Yaghi, one of two senior authors of the paper, who holds the James and Neeltje Tretter chair in chemistry at UC Berkeley and is a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “There is no other way to do that right now, except by using extra energy. Your electric dehumidifier at home ‘produces’ very expensive water.”
“One vision for the future is to have water off-grid, where you have a device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household,” said Yaghi, who is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute, a co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute and the California Research Alliance by BASF. “To me, that will be made possible because of this experiment. I call it personalized water.”