What’s the newest advancements in water technology? Can we talk about cacti for a moment? Those iconic, prickly stalwarts of countless movies and cartoons depicting dry, airless deserts are amazing things and we don’t use the word lightly. Like any other living thing, cacti need water to live. As they usually live in parched, arid conditions, cacti have developed incredible systems in order to survive.
Those prickles are actually leaves, modified to prevent roaming animals from eating the plant, but also to conserve water. Their roots are shallow but spread widely, in order to grab as much rainfall as they can, given the opportunity. Some varieties of cacti can soak up 200 gallons of water, which they then carefully conserve, to last them over to the next, sporadic rainfall. The unique way that cacti collect water has spurred an aha moment for scientists in water technology.
Cacti-Inspired Water Harvester!
So here’s the big news in water technology. Scientists searching for ways to produce water for the millions of people who don’t have a regular or even intermittent supply, have turned to how cacti capture and conserve water to create a pioneering solution to grab water straight from the air.
Knowing that a gadget was needed that didn’t rely on any external power source for this type of water technology, instead Professor Omar Yaghi and his team from the University of California, created an ingenious device. The water-harvester utilizes it’s own materials – tiny, powdered crystals that capture molecules from the air – and the rising and falling temperature and humidity to produce water.
“There is nothing like this. It operates at ambient temperature with ambient sunlight, and with no additional energy input you can collect water in the desert. The aluminum MOF is making this practical for water production, because it is cheap.”
– Professor Omar Yaghi
We Heart Progress
At Tyent, we get pretty excited about ground-breaking engineering, especially in advancements in water technology that brings the goal of everyone having access to clean drinking water, no matter where they live, a little closer.
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