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Modular water harvester ensures continuous water production for arid regions

NOV 17, 2023
A rotational adsorption strategy offers substantial benefits over existing designs, potentially granting millions of people reliable access to clean water.
Modular water harvester ensures continuous water production for arid regions internal name

Modular water harvester ensures continuous water production for arid regions lead image

Access to clean water is a constant concern for many people living in arid regions, one made increasingly more pressing due to droughts triggered by climate change. A potential solution is atmospheric water harvesting (AWH), which typically pulls water from the air at night and uses solar power to release it during the day. However, this long-duration cycle requires large volumes of adsorbent material to produce a meaningful supply of water.

Shao et al. developed a continuous AWH using a rotational operating strategy. In their setup, two modules adsorb water vapor while one desorbs, ensuring a constant water output. They employed Ni2Cl2(BTDD), a metal-organic framework, as their adsorbent material and powered their modules entirely with low-grade thermal energy.

“The combination of the device design has achieved completely passive water vapor condensation, which is crucial for this technology to truly move toward practical applications,” said author Ruzhu Wang.

The team selected Ni2Cl2(BTDD) as their adsorbent due to its high water uptake at low humidity, large adsorption capacity, and fast adsorption kinetics enabling faster cycles.

“This adsorbent also exhibits excellent stability, with no obvious decay observed in 50-cycle stability experiments, indicating that this high-performance adsorbent can be applied to future multi-cycle AWH devices,” said Wang.

The authors are excited about the potential of their AWH system to alleviate water scarcity and help millions of people access clean, fresh water.

“Through our research, we hope to demonstrate the potential of AWH to achieve efficient water production anytime, anywhere, and thus bring about a revolutionary change from ‘praying for water in arid areas’ to ‘producing water in arid areas,’” said Wang.

Source: “Modular all-day continuous thermal-driven atmospheric water harvester with rotating adsorption strategy,” by Zhao Shao, Zhi-Shuo Wang, Haotian Lv, Yu-Cheng Tang, Hongbin Wang, Shuai Du, Ruikun Sun, Xi Feng, Primož Poredoš, Dong-Dong Zhou, Jie-Peng Zhang, and Ruzhu Wang, Applied Physics Reviews (2023). The article can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0164055 .

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