Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have developed an innovative solar-powered harvesting system that absorbs moisture from the air and converts it into clean water suitable for drinking. This technology could eventually be used in disaster situations, water crises or developing countries. It’s based on “super sponges,” or hydrogel and gel-polymer hybrid materials designed to retain a lot of water. This material can also release water upon being heated. “We have developed a completely passive system where all you need to do is leave the hydrogel outside and it will collect water,” said Fei Zhao, a postdoctoral researcher and co-author of the study. Read more for a video and additional information.
“Although harvesting water from moisture is not a new concept, most technologies that use the process are very energy-intensive. The beauty of this new system is that it requires only solar power. In addition, the new device is compact but efficient enough to generate a daily water production of up to 50 liters per kilogram of hydrogel according to the prototype tests. That is more than enough to meet a household’s daily needs,” reports Interesting Engineering.