Scientists have learned how to extract water from dry desert air using solar energy

The World Health Organization believes that if today already 2 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water, then in the near future their number will grow to 3 billion. Rivers are polluted, lakes are shallow, but at the same time, a fairy tale is dispersed in the surrounding air. wealth - 13 trillion liters of water. And at the University of Berkeley they figured out how to get it without spending any other resources.

The new concept for the extraction of water from air is based on organometallic polymer (MOP) technology. These are multidimensional porous structures consisting of metal ions and molecules of organic substances, which successfully function as filters for gases and liquids. The process is carried out due to chemical reactions, proceeds slowly and does not require auxiliary capacities.

Organometallic polymer

Scientists from Berkeley assembled a zirconium-based MOS to capture water molecules and tested it back in 2014. Then a solar collector and a condensation chamber were added to it. The collected MOS molecules H 2 O are heated by the accumulated energy of the sun, evaporate, settle on the walls of the refrigerator and condense, forming water droplets. The efficiency of the installation is low, but there are no requirements for the "quality" of the feedstock - air.

The prototype, left in the desert for 12 hours, with an average air humidity of less than 20%, managed to collect 2.8 liters of water per 1 kg of MOP weight during this time. Current installation options are limited, they cannot capture more than 1/5 of their weight in water, and the price of zirconium is unpleasantly high for mass use. However, laboratory tests are encouraging - an aluminum analogue of MOS will soon appear, 40 times more efficient and 100 times cheaper.

Such installations will not be able to solve the problem of lack of water for mankind, but to save a thirsty traveler or to reduce the costs of farms is quite. Scientists are glad that they were able to translate the theory into a practical solution, but they are reluctant to talk about the commercialization of their brainchild. The technology has great potential for scalability and use in different fields - I would not want to be pawed on by someone greedy and shameless.