Water tech discovery has potential to create “fresh water”

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 20th June 2016

WaterSeparate recent discoveries by scientists have potential to generate or improve fresh water production in different ways. The ramifications could revolutionise capabilities by creating fresh water in drought and desert impacted areas.

Recent nanomaterial discovery

Scientists in the US have made an accidental finding which could lead to water being extracted from the air in dry, desert environments.

Published online last week by Nature Nanotechnology journal, the scientists were inspecting solid, carbon-rich nanorods and saw them expel large amounts of water as humidity levels reached between 50 and 80 per cent. Any other material would normally just take on more water as the humidity around them increases.

The scientists have now described this discovery as a “paradigm shift in water purification and separation”.

“Theoretically, large quantities of the water-spitting nanomaterial could repeatedly take on and then eject collected water when a certain humidity level is reached,” said Pacific Northwest National Laboratory which funded the research.

“Such a system could be used in remote deserts, where it would collect water from the air and harvest it for human consumption.”

Israeli start-up technology

In 2014, an Israeli start-up company, Water Gen, revealed its device which can turn water vapour in the air into drinking water. The current technology includes a device that can be carried in a backpack and this has been designed for use by the Israeli Defence Force.

The technology can also be used as dehumidifier, in laundry dryers and air conditioners.