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New material can suck water out of thin air


Posted on Saturday, 27 February, 2016 | Comment icon 7 comments

A moisture vaporator on the set of the original Star Wars. Image Credit: PD - Rais67
Engineers have developed a new material that is capable of turning airborne water vapor in to a liquid.
Inspired by the Namib desert beetle which survives in its arid environment by condensing water droplets on its own back, a team of researchers led by mechanical engineer Kyoo-Chul Park have succeeded in developing a remarkable new material that is capable of doing much the same thing.

The material, which like the beetle's shell is covered in a series of small bumps, is ten times faster at turning water vapor in to a liquid than any other material known to science.

In addition to being useful in any machine with a heat exchanger that relies on water collection for heat transfer, the new material could also make it possible to collect water in the desert using dedicated moisture farms similar to those used on Tatooine in the original Star Wars.

"I'm a big fan of Star Wars, and so you could imagine this kind of condensation system being used simply for water collection on a moisture farm, such as the one on Tatooine where Luke Skywalker was raised," said Park. "The basic idea is already here: harvesting liquid water from air-bound vapor in an extremely arid region."

Source: Popular Mechanics | Comments (7)

Tags: Water

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by herbygant on 27 February, 2016, 13:14
Could be an essential survival tool.
Comment icon #2 Posted by seeder on 27 February, 2016, 13:30
similar was done long ago...do read... A Billboard That Condenses Water From Humidity Peru's University of Engineering and Technology has designed a billboard that creates clean drinking water from atmospheric humidity. http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/a8875/a-billboard-that-condenses-water-from-humidity-15393050/
Comment icon #3 Posted by Infernal Gnu on 28 February, 2016, 2:36
Why didn't Matt Damon have this material on Mars?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Codenwarra on 28 February, 2016, 3:25
This idea needs fog.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Aitrui on 28 February, 2016, 3:27
No water vapour on Mars. I wonder what potential effects sucking massive amounts water vapour out of the air might have if any countries decide to use this on a really large scale....
Comment icon #6 Posted by Infernal Gnu on 28 February, 2016, 4:10
http://phys.org/news/2014-12-scientists-vapor-martian-atmosphere.html An article about scientists "mapping" water vapor on Mars...
Comment icon #7 Posted by Calibeliever on 29 February, 2016, 14:23
Very exciting work. Well done.


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