Researchers Develop Slippery Rough Surface for Water Harvesting
Researchers develop slippery rough surface for water harvesting, according to a study conducted on March 30, 2018.
Water scarcity is faced by 4 billion people across the world and development of inexpensive methods for water harvesting from water vapor or droplets of fog will help in alleviating water scarcity problems in many parts of the world. The water harvesting technologies that are available are not efficient, as water when attracted to a hydrophilic surface forms a sheet and sticks to the surface, which makes the removal process difficult.
The newly developed slippery rough surface is a combination of slippery interface of a pitcher plant and surface architecture of a rice leaf, which allows easy removal of water in one direction. Along with the development of a pitcher plant-inspired slippery surface, directional grooves were also added and the new surface was given a microscale roughness, which increased the surface area. Through the experiments conducted, it was observed that tiny droplets of water was collected by the surface at a very fast rate. The potential of hydrophilic surfaces to harvest water was explained through molecular dynamics simulations.
Nan Sun, coauthor of the paper said, “If the SRS material is produced at scale, we estimate that we can collect over 120 liters of water per square meter of the surface per day, and we can further increase the water harvesting rate by optimizing the SRS.” At present, the research team is focused on scaling up the SRS to develop highly efficient water harvesting systems, which will help in providing clean water to people living in water scarce regions.
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