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The End of Droughts with the New Solar Powered Device

The End of Droughts with the New Solar Powered Device

Using 1 kilogram of the MOF, they created a solar-powered prototype that is capable of generating 2.8 liters of water from ambient air after 12 hours. After all, dehumidifiers make sure that a room or home does not easily grow mold by sucking out the moisture from the air, and at the end of the day, you will have to pour all of the water away somewhere else.

Though researchers at Berkeley and MIT have developed a way to extract clean water from thin air, it will take more research and development to bring the prodct to an inexpensive enough price that it can be economically distributed to countries around the world and aras where clean water is in short supply. However, he added that liquid water can only be collected during the day, when the sun heats up the device.

"This is a major breakthrough in the long-standing challenge of harvesting water from the air at low humidity".

The plan is to create a 30-liter system, about the size of a carry-on suitcase, which would be able to provide drinking water for a family of four each day.

There are now more than 20,000 different types of MOF in use or in development around the world, but Yaghi's latest, developed with Evelyn Wang, a mechanical engineer at MIT, is the only one to target water.

The current MOF material being used absorbs up to 20 percent of its weight in water, but other MOF materials could be designed which could absorb twice as much water.

The humidity could be as low as 20% yet this device will work surely and steadily.

"Our next step is trying to build a device that can capture a reasonable amount of water in a way that can be viable for remote areas, where there's little access to clean water", Wang continued.

A metal-organic framework (MOF) is exactly what it sounds like as it combines metal with organic molecules to create porous, rigid structures.

This all-purpose solution could make a big difference for the millions of people living in water-deprived areas.

The lines in this schematic of a MOF are organic linkers - the intersections are metal ions.

"We have now laid both the experimental and theoretical foundations so that we can screen other MOFs, thousands of which could be made, to find even better materials", says Yaghi. Since then, he and others have developed several types of applications for them, including membranes that absorb and later release methane, acting as a carbon tank for cars.

Engineers from MIT and the University of California Berkeley have created a solar-powered system that can turn air into drinking water. When put in perspective, using MOFs is immensely more efficient and cost-friendly compared to FreshWater, which requires an additional power source to function correctly.

The device is billed as a proof of concept by Yaghi, so it's just a starting point. Normally, harvesting pure water from thin air is an expensive procedure.

These devices work on a novel kind of material which could extract a large volume of water into its various number of pores. The paper printed in the Journal Science defines the design.

Yaghi talks about his work in the video below.

"This daily fluctuation of relative humidity is another reason ... why we need to think of optimization and improvement of atmospheric water generation systems", he said in a follow-up email to The Washington Post.

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