Scientists and engineers at the University of Texas at Austin have found a solution to the problem of water scarcity for people living in arid areas of our planet, according to Technology Networks.
The team has developed an inexpensive gel film from a large number of materials that can extract water from the air even in the driest climates. The materials from which the film is made cost only $ 2 per kilogram, and one kilogram can extract more than 6 liters of water per day in rooms with relative humidity less than 15% and 13 liters in rooms with relative humidity up to 30%.
The researchers used renewable cellulose and cognac gum as the main hydrophilic element of the film. With the help of the structure of gum with pores, you can speed up the process of collecting moisture.
Another component, heat-sensitive cellulose with hydrophobic (water-resistant) interaction when heated, helps to quickly get the collected water.
Although 6 liters of water does not sound like much, researchers say that the creation of thicker films or arrays with optimization can dramatically increase the amount of water they collect.
The film is flexible, it can be generated in different sizes and shapes, depending on user needs.
The study was funded by the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Researchers also say that people will one day be able to buy film at a hardware store and use it in their homes because of the simplicity of the technology.