Apr 19, 2017 11:41 AM EDT
Drinking water is becoming more and more scarce around the world with some areas with zero access to clean water. However, a recent invention by scientists from MIT and Berkeley might finally end water shortage.
According to the UN Water statistics, 47 percent of the world's population will be living in areas of high water stress by 2030. However, scientists have been finding ways how to address this issue and one of the solutions is harvesting water from the atmosphere. Unlike groundwater, however, harvesting water from thin air proves to be more challenging.
Over the years, scientists have developed various methods how to do this, such as the atmospheric water generators that harvest dew and turn it into drinking water.
Recently, a new invention to harvest water from the atmosphere was announced by a team of scientists from MIT and Berkeley. What makes this new invention a breakthrough is that it can harvest up to three liters of water in even the driest places of the earth.
The device which was designed by Omar Yaghi, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, was an engineered crystal which can be tweaked to bind certain molecules very tightly. His crystal was specifically designed to attract water.
After that, he asked the help of Evelyn Wang, a mechanical engineer at MIT, to develop a device that will encase the substance that will power water collection. What Wang and her team did was create a solar-powered condenser that is activated by the temperature range.
Some of the practical uses of the device are in areas affected by drought or war and in dry areas where water is scarce. It can also be used to supplement ground water supply.
The study was published in the journal Science.
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