A novel device discovered by researchers which are based on solar energy can draw water even from the thin air that can be seen in dry and arid deserts. The device is very soft like a sponge that uses sunlight to draw water vapor from the air.
The solar-powered device can draw 3 liters of water for every kilogram of water it absorbs. The most surprising thing about the device is that it can work even in dry climates which is seen in desert areas.
The device was discovered by researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in which they have made use of metal-organic framework or MOF. This special material was developed by researchers from the University of California, in Berkeley.
The device combines the metals like magnesium or aluminum with organic molecules, which results in the formation of a rigid, porous structure. This porous structure acts as a storage for storing gasses and liquids.
The working of device
The metal-organic framework or MOF was developed by Omar Yaghi, a chemist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory along with Dr. Evelyn Wang from MIT’s Device Research Laboratory. The MOF material is made up of zirconium that captures the water vapors and transforms them into water.
There are about 13 trillion litres of water in an atmosphere which is similar to 10% of water present in lakes and rivers. Since long time researchers are trying to harness this water by finding out new ways.
The newly designed system absorbs condensed water during the night and evaporates it again during day time. This is done via porous crystal that develops continuous 3D networks. Due to the sun’s heat, the water molecules vaporize again to form reservoirs that can collect the water.
There is no other method currently available to harness water from sunlight. Hence this method can fulfill the water requirements of the household in future using solar energy. The device can be beneficial to the people living in desert areas where there is a large scarcity of water.
The research and its findings are published in the journal Science on April 13.