MIT Device Pulls Clean Water Out of Thin Air

MIT Device Pulls Clean Water Out of Thin Air


[MUSIC PLAYING] EVELYN WANG: Access to
clean drinking water is one of our world’s
greatest challenges, yet there is an abundant
supply all around us in the air as water vapor. Here at MIT, we’ve
developed a novel device that can capture this resource. We start off with a uniquely
tailored powder, or desiccant, designed to attract the vapor. We then embed the powder into
an engineered porous matrix. This composite layer
acts like a sponge. It literally pulls the
water out of the air. The composite is then
heated by the sun to release the
vapor into a chamber where it is condensed
into liquid and collected. This is the only technology
that can operate efficiently at humidities as low as 20%. It has the potential to
be low-cost, efficient, and completely passive. Now, moving forward, we need
to further tailor this powder an engineer the device
to improve performance. Our goal is to create a product
for the millions of people that live in arid regions, have
limited infrastructure, and lack access to
clean drinking water.

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About the Author: John Markowski

18 Comments

  1. Oh, goodie – just what the world needs – yet ANOTHER "water from vapor" vaporware project….
    What's the end-to-end efficiency? How many grams of water / Joule?

  2. I mean, it's expensive, and as Bill Gates can tell you, it needs to be cheap and easy for the poor of the world. Also, I have a dehumidifier in my basement and the water is … pretty gross. But, it's too fancy, and simple will work, as much as I would LOVE THIS TO WORK, and work cheaply and indeed help save the world, I truly doubt in a few years this project will still be funded. Just because we need it, doesn't mean we can make it!

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