New Water Extraction System Purifies Drinking Water from Condensed Air

Drinking Water from Condensed Air
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Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed new water extraction device to purify contaminated drinking water

Researchers from MIT developed novel technology to supply clean drinking water in remote areas. According to the study, a solar-powered device can produce drinking water out of air even in desert conditions. The device utilizes custom metal-organic framework (MOF) to seek out water and collect it in the form of vapor. The sun is used as source heat to separate the vapor molecules from the metal-organic framework and condensation process results is formation of clean drinking water. Earlier in 2018, team demonstrated the technology as a proof of principle. Currently, the process is been examined by field testing in the dry air of Tempe, Arizona to prove efficacy. The results of the device are extremely promising, which bring the project one step closer to its exciting conclusion.
“The advancement we have achieved over our proof-of-concept demonstration last year is the testing of a small-scale prototype in desert conditions where we believe absorption-based water harvesting systems are most practical,” said Sameer Rao, a post-doctoral research associate who worked on the project. “In addition, we have made several design improvements which enabled operation at greatly improved efficiencies. By careful design and optimization, we developed a device which is well suited for operation in arid conditions and under negative dew points in which competing commercially mature technologies such as refrigeration-based dewing cycles are infeasible.”
The team is still using a miniature prototype for testing purposes. The researchers believe that a scaled-up version of the extraction system could output more than a quarter-liter of water per day per kilogram of MOF. “We are currently working on developing a large-scale prototype, one that would be able to sustain the drinking water needs of a family in remote and arid areas,” Rao added. “There are certainly interesting questions we are working to answer and enable higher operational efficiencies and simultaneously demonstrate the scalability of our approach.”

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