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Current Affairs

Harvesting water from air

Date: 10 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Researchers at IIT- Guwahati have developed a new technology to harvest water from the air by using the concept of hydrophobicity.

 

Background

With increasing water scarcity throughout the world, there have been attempts to collect and conserve water through non-traditional means.

 

Details

  • The research team used the concept of chemically patterned SLIPS for the first time, to effectively harvest water from moist air.

  • A patterned hydrophilic SLIP was produced by spraying a sponge-like porous polymeric material on top of a simple A4 printer paper.

  • Further, chemically modulated hydrophilic spots were associated on the coating, prior to lubricating with two distinct types of oils.

  • This surface can harvest water from foggy/water vapour laden air without the need for any cooling arrangement.

  • The researchers have also compared the performance of their SLIPS materials to other bio- inspired ideas and have found theirs to be superior in terms of efficiency of water harvesting.

 

Hydrophilic

A hydrophile is a molecule or other molecular entity that is attracted to water molecules and tends to be dissolved by water.

In contrast, hydrophobes are not attracted to water and may seem to be repelled by it. Hygroscopics are attracted to water, but are not dissolved by water.