All of India and the northern half of China currently suffer permanent water shortages, while cities across the globe experience sporadic drought.
Yet a new sponge-like nanomaterial, designed to be used in existing dehumidifiers, could offer a new source of aqua. If the material is used in a large commercial building’s HVAC system, it could produce thousands of litres of water per hour – out of thin air.
This material is not only energy-efficient, but is novel in their ability to function in low humidity environments, and at near freezing temperatures. This allows the material to adapt to different weather conditions.
The project was developed by Ireland’s University of Limerick and a think tank and incubator fund called Molecule.
“We deduced that if we simply looked up for our solution to the humidity in the air around us, and engineered a way to work in harmony with nature’s water cycle, it would be possible to generate your own water, anytime, anywhere you want. This would represent a step forward in solving the global water challenge,” reads the project description.