Engineers have created a smart airgel that turns air into drinking water

Some futurists say that in the future, wars will be fought over water. In an attempt to solve the problem, researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have created a substance that extracts water from the air without any external source of energy.

The Earth’s atmosphere contains water that can fill nearly half a trillion Olympic swimming pools. But for a long time it remained unnoticed as a source of drinking water. It’s about air.

To extract water from the air, a team led by Professor Ho Gim Wei of NUS’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department created an airgel, a solid material that weighs almost nothing. It looks like a sponge under a microscope, but it doesn’t need to be squeezed to release the water it absorbs from the air. It also does not require a battery to operate.

The smart airgel autonomously collects water molecules from the air, condenses them into liquid and releases the water. Researchers tested it and found that it meets World Health Organization standards for drinking water.

Other scientists had previously invented ways to extract water from the air, but their designs had to be powered by sunlight or electricity and had moving parts that needed to be opened and closed.

NUS researchers have published their research in Science Advances. They are now looking for industry partners to expand the airgel for home or industrial use. Maybe he’ll even find a place in survival kits.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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