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#FutureTech - Hydrogel Harvests Water from the Air
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#FutureTech - Hydrogel Harvests Water from the Air

A breakthrough by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin may offer a new solution through solar-powered technology that absorbs moisture from the air and returns it as clean, usable water.

The technology relies on hydrogels, gel-polymer hybrid materials designed to be 'super sponges' that can retain large amounts of water. The research team at UT Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering combined hydrogels that are both highly water absorbent and release water upon heating. With an estimated 50,000 cubic kilometres of water contained in the atmosphere the technology could be harnessed in disaster situations & water stressed areas.

“We have developed a completely passive system where all you need to do is leave the hydrogel outside and it will collect water,” said Fei Zhao, a postdoctoral researcher on Yu’s team and co-author of the study. “The collected water will remain stored in the hydrogel until you expose it to sunlight. After about five minutes under natural sunlight, the water releases.”

Source: University of Texas at Austin

Author: DelAgua

Publish Date: 01.04.2019

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