Engineers have created a material that extracts water from the air and drains it without any external power source or moving parts..
According to some forecasts, in the future, wars will be fought over water, since now billions of people are beginning to face its shortage. Previously, scientists had already invented various devices for extracting water from the air, but they all required electricity or solar energy and had moving elements..
Now researchers at the National University of Singapore have created «clever» airgel, which, like a sponge, absorbs moisture from the air, condenses it into a liquid and pushes it out. All this is possible thanks to special long-chain polymers with a complex chemical structure, which can continuously switch between the phases of attraction and repulsion of water. The resulting liquid meets all standards World Health Organization.
The airgel does not need any energy source to extract water from the air, but in the presence of sunlight, it is able to condense 95% of the moisture that enters it. 1 kg of material can produce up to 17 liters of drinking water per day and work continuously for several months in various climatic conditions.
Previously, scientists have also developed a transparent airgel that, even in winter, is able to collect solar heat, keeping the temperature above 200 °C.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: National University of Singapore