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NUS Scientists Have Developed Smart Aerogel Which Converts Air Into Drinkable Water

May, 2021 - By WMR

NUS Scientists Have Developed Smart Aerogel Which Converts Air Into Drinkable Water

A team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has demonstrated a spongy aerogel which transforms airborne water molecules through drinkable liquid with the use of a power source or any moving parts, demonstrating a promising example of this type of technology.

The NUS engineers' content seems to be a straightforward approach. The aerogel is produced at high snake-like polymers together with a porous structure known as a metal-organic matrix, and is highly regarded in many fields of science due to its extremely porous structure. This innovations can range from advanced solar-powered greenhouses that release stored water vapor to basic nets in the desert that capture moisture from sweeping sea fog.

Professor Ho Ghim Wei, who guided the research team, states, "Given that ambient water is constantly replenished by the global hydrological cycle, our innovation provides a promising approach for achieving sustainable freshwater supply in a variety of climatic conditions at reduced energy expense."

The team was able to explain proper functioning of the substance in the lab for over 1,440 hours with the water, it was able to meet the WHO’s (World Health Organization) drinking water requirements. The researchers say that 1 kg (2.2 lb.) of the substance will yield around 17 liters (4.5 gal) of water per day in humid conditions, however the aerogel is supposed to have nearly no mass, and that a collector of that size will certainly take up much space. The hybrid substance produced by the team has the perfect chemical structure for attracting and repelling water continuously and simultaneously. Moreover, the aerogel could absorb water molecules from the air, condense them into a liquid, and afterwards release it without the need to compress it. Although when exposed to air, it improves its water repellency and can convert over 95% of the vapor it consumes into liquid water.

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