Scientists from MIT have learned to extract water from desert air

<pre>Scientists from MIT have learned to extract water from desert air

Last year, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed the concept of using metal-organic frame structures (IOCs) to extract moisture from the air. And now they are ready to show the prototype such an installation in the case, although its effectiveness is far from desired. But the system is completely passive and requires only good weather for work.

IOC – metal-organic framework structures, they are also organometallic polymers, a hybrid substance with a complex three-dimensional structure. Here clusters of reactive metals are integrated into a lattice of organic polymers, and the architecture and composition of the framework can vary widely. At MIT, a configuration was chosen that allows the maximum volume of water vapor to be held within the framework.

With the onset of twilight and a sharp change in air temperature in a desert climate, there is a movement of air masses heated for a day. They pass through the IOC trap, the substances react, water is released and concentrated inside. With dawn, the temperature rises, the sun's rays warm up the IOC to the level of evaporation of water, which evaporates out of the lattice, then condenses and collects into the vessel. No moving parts, it all depends only on the presence of sunlight.

The prototype tested in the Arizona desert produced 0.25 liters of clean water per 1 kg of IOC weight. Given the cost of the IOC, this is not enough for economic benefits in the short term, so scientists will continue to optimize the system. For example, it can already operate at an air humidity of only 10% versus the minimum 50% required by conventional technologies for obtaining water from the air.

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