Transforming Air Into Pure Drinking Water Is Finally Possible, Here’s How

Transforming Air Into Pure Drinking Water Is Finally Possible, Here’s How

Deserts are not particularly welcoming environments, and yet at least hundred million people live in desert regions around the world, according to the UN. They have to make due with less than 25 cm of rainfall each year, and for many, even that miniscule water supply is under threat as climate change is making dry areas even drier. So scientists at UC Berkeley have been experimenting with materials that can pull drinking water out of thin air. The compound they’ve devised is one of a family of materials called Metal-Organic-Frameworks, or MOFs. MOFs are, well it’s pretty much right in the name, frameworks of metal atoms connected to each other with organic linkers. This structure makes them porous like a sponge, giving them incredible surface areas; a single gram of a MOF can have the surface area of a football field. And depending on the metal and organic molecules they’re made of, they can be tailored to capture different things in their pores. MOFs have potential uses capturing CO2 and turning it into the fuel methanol, or neutralizing nerve agents like sarin gas. The function the Berkeley scientists tuned their MOF for was extracting water vapor that’s present in the air. The first one they made in 2014, called MOF-801, was zirconium based. When tested in a water harvester it worked entirely passively, absorbing and condensing water overnight and giving it up again when the sun warmed it up. So the concept worked, and used a lot less energy than the other way of extracting water from low humidity air, which involves cooling the air below freezing. But Zirconium is expensive, so the scientists set to developing MOF-303 based on the much cheaper element aluminum. Not only is the new MOF cheaper, it also performs much better. It can hold 30% more water and fill up and empty in just 20 minutes in the right conditions. And because the MOF was designed to leave no traces of organic or inorganic material in the water, it’s completely pure and drinkable right away. Using the same passive technique in a harvester left overnight in the Arizona desert, one kilogram of MOF-303 harvested 0.2 liters of water. Now I know what you’re thinking. That doesn’t sound like a lot of water. And you’re right. But the good news is the aluminum based MOF’s ability to fill and empty in minutes can be exploited. The scientists changed up their design. Instead of passively relying on a day night cycle, their latest harvester relies on solar powered fans and heaters to run dozens of cycles a day. Ideally it can make more than 1.3 liters of water per kilogram of MOF each day, and the researchers hope to get that number as high as 8 or 10 liters per kilogram. The lead researcher behind this has started a private company called Water Harvesting. The plan is to launch a microwaved sized device that can supply 2 adults with enough drinking water for their daily hydration and cooking needs. Eventually they envision a harvester big enough to supply a small village. If the devices are affordable, safe, and reliable enough, these metal-organic frameworks have the potential to turn even the driest deserts into oases. Clean drinking water has always been a challenge for humanity, and sometimes we make mistakes. Like when we decided lead pipes were a good idea. Thankfully, researchers are developing ways to render the poisonous pipes harmless. Amanda has more here. If you liked this video let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time on Seeker.

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About the Author: John Markowski


  1. Sir in our india we have already aakash ganga technology that owned by a private company that device that convert air in to water.

  2. Home, Village or City size could first filter the air clean out the CO2 then collect water. Harvest the Carbon & make money off of it will make the real estate needed to Capture Carbon. With energy, there is always a way to turn a negative into a positive.
    1.) Businesses or Governments paying them to capture the carbon.
    2.) Captured Carbon can be sold to make carbon nanotubes or 3d printing filament or bricks for housing
    Be Helpful, Not Hurtful

  3. so basicly you invented an revers air humidifier.
    Do some very very simple claculations and you will see that even 40C 100% humidity it would take a look time or a huge amount of power to get the water.
    In deserts you dont have high humidity…
    oh yes i think there is someting called the Legionnaires' disease

    Ps. Hey thunderfoot

  4. Should perhaps also mention Warka Water in Ethiopia. Similar concept but been around for a while now

  5. If we are capable of depletion of water sources in the ground, think how quickly we could remove that last little bit from the air!

  6. What a load of CRAP…. This sort of tech has been around for decades, normally they are called a dehumidifier and they only work if there is actually some humidity. BTW it is the dirtiest water you can get and far from pure ..YUK …… If anyone actually thinks this is a new and good idea then your scientific knowledge probably does not extend past grade 6 math level.

  7. Old and lost technology, so naive ……. Moses had a "MANA" Machine in the desert that made water and food.
    Sit on that and simmer on the notion🤔

  8. Pure air is oxygen .. as used in hospitals.. normal air contains ever farts co2 etc. .. water is hydrogen and oxygen… we need big tech to breath IN SPACE und drink too … reading here .. makes the video A HOAX or click bait or false profit or wRoGn info or wrong idea… bisMULLAH .

  9. Why not do the smart thing and just build an oversized air conditioner? Condensation is free drinking water from air and it’ll cool the planet for you climate change idiots.

  10. this has been possible for a long time.. i literally went to Israel a year ago and they had a water machine you have in your home that made clean good tasting cold water out of the air. its just not very cheap but isnt that expencive. im guessing a business model isnt super profitable so we dont see them.

  11. I think my country would like this a lot. And we're very humid
    Btw isn't pure water a bit dangerous? Better add some salt before drinking lol.

  12. So how does these "scientists" from a private company claim to break thermodynamic laws this time? And how much money will politicians grant them? How many prizes will they get from knowing the right people? And how long will it take before people find out its a hoax?

    And how much money could have been used to purify saltwater instead?

  13. MMMMMM Geo engineering, that sounds good. Did one ever think, what does a giant dehumidifier do in a dessert? I can't help but think this could possibly misplace weather events.

  14. Is their binary language similar to that of binary load lifters or am I going to need to purchase a separate droid. 😉

  15. What a scam. The water is demineralized, this means it is not good for the body. You could use it in your steam-iron but don't drink it.

  16. Bill gates’ water from sewage method is a better idea. Why not just recycle all the water you throw away and use solar to do it through distillation and filtration? And why don’t we just prevent climate change from happening?

  17. This is not the first way to get water from air. Let me explain
    You can get water by simply compressing the air at High amount and high pressure and in this case water is separated from wet air and some purification method makes it as drinking water

  18. They've done this with wicker structure in villages that don't have access to fresh water. Made from local materials for free. These people care about profits, not fellow people

  19. Atmospheric water moisture is 80% more global warming than the small fraction of carbon dioxide increase.
    in fact it's postulated that a small fraction of CO2 increase, significantly amplifies water moisture.

  20. People we have created the DUNE water traps and the Star Wars Moisture Vaporators! Such a device in moisture farms in a desert would literally turn a desert nation into a very rich and powerful entity very quickly if it was to be able to market it. The Suadi's would never allow such a device to make head way in Africa. IT would destroy there economic hold on a number of nations and weaken OPEC. Do it. If you allow a valuable resource to become easier to access and reach, people has less reasons to fight.

  21. What a bunch of Nancy's!
    In my day we used to drink
    our own piss if we got thirsty! But seriously folks the key words here are moisture in the air. Nevada is a desert and very dry with a humidity level between 6 and 10% with a temperature of 100 to 110 degs. Hence dry heat. But the closer you get to Las Vegas the humidity begins to rise little by little to as much as 85% with the same temperature. Why you ask? The humidity is higher because of the fountains pushing all that water in the air! And since Las Vegas proper is surrounded by mountains the moisture gets trapped. The scientific name for this is "Your gonna sweat your balls off". I stayed in a town called Parummp witch means ancient water in Indian. Wheres the water? Underground.
    Trillions upon trillions of gallons of water! You see that whole region was once all swamp and larger fresh water areas that receded over millions of years. When you walk into the desert you'll see just countless amounts of fresh water shells no bigger than the width of a pencil eraser. And little fossilized creatures.
    Aren't you glad you asked?
    SAY YES!!!

  22. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Yep, just unsubscribed 🤣🤣. Next up, they're gonna tell you about this free energy device that mit is working on 😬😬😬.

  23. im sorry but this is the worst episode of seeker i've seen so far.

    there are so many better way so get water then that! instead of wasting money on that, why not make a pipeline from the ocean to the people in the desert and use the heat to distill it!


  25. Watch water companies like Nestle make this technology suddenly disappear even though it would help impoverished countries, since this machine would cut into their profits.

  26. Excellent.
    The sky is an ocean of elements less dense than the material world immediately around us.

    Compress the Sky to materialise

  27. If, we stop punching HOLES in the upper OZONE atmosphere with rockets and such, the Sun will stop pulling the hydrogen gas out of our biosphere.

    Global desification will end then.

    Climate change is created by Big Tech creating atmospheric holes with rockets and electrical frequencies.

    NOT hair spray.

    The wages of ignorance is foolishness.

  28. ARE YOU FOR REAL? what happens when this shit is in drinking water? can i remind everyone of monsanto! Round up! any bells ringing yet! and basically recreating what a tree does! why not use fine meshs instead of putting more shit into everyone's enviroment!… sounds like a plot for a movie? DARK WATER!

  29. Keep it simple! look at this it requires no power and no chemical poisoning the enviroment! scientists need to get out in nature!

  30. MIT and UC Berkley: makes a desiccant based water harvester that is less efficient than a humidifier..
    Thunderf00t: hold my beer…

  31. High-purity water is dangerous if you drink too much of it. Due to the absence of ions in it the cells that line your stomach keep absorbing the water (reversed osmosis) until they burst. To make pure water potable, you'll need to add very small traces of ions, for instance salt or calcium.

  32. They need water RIGHT NOW, so how long they'll need to wait for this imaginary water maker?
    And event if they actually make something usable , how much it'll cost to mass produce and distribute it? What about maintenance cost?
    Rather than wasting millions of dollar for this research, it's better to send all of those money to Gate's foundation, they'll make better use of that money.

    (My random idea: What about making more solar powered desalination plant, pump it to dozens of 100m water towers, and make kilometers of water pipe to various remote reservoirs)

  33. The desert air is dry, that's why it doesn't rain often. To get any significant amount of water out of the air you would need a solar farm bigger than a village to get water to one house, keep in mind this water is not treated and is stored in moldy dark metal containers, it's not what any first-world nation would call drinking water.

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