The process by which it could help to solve the terrible problem of the scarcity of fresh water in certain rural or abandoned areas of our planet.
There are plenty of devices and techniques capable of harvesting water from the air, but this new breakthrough was directly inspired by spider webs and beetles to create an efficient way to do this process.
This has been achieved by researchers from the University of Waterloo, who believe that their invention can address the scarcity of fresh water in certain rural and poor areas of the world, thus offering a viable alternative to water collected from rivers or lakes.
This advance consists of large-surface sponges or membranes capable of continuously capturing humidity from their surroundings, without the use of heavy machinery or any other type of process.
“A spider web is a marvel of engineering. The water is efficiently captured by the net. The spider does not need to go to the river to drink, since it traps the moisture in the air,” he says. Tamuniversity research professor in the field of functional colloids and sustainable nanomaterials.
And using a similar process, beetles in the Namib desert produce “air water leaning into the wind to catch water droplets from the mist with his textured armor. This allows moisture to collect and drip into their mouths.”
To create this technique they used a process called “biomimetic surface engineering” which involves creating the beetle’s unique surface structure by using a cellulose-stabilized wax emulsion.
With this they built surfaces that attract smaller water droplets while quickly and efficiently releasing larger ones.
In addition, it is a totally sustainable technology, since it uses materials with net zero carbon emissions.
So as a result, this tool captures and repels water droplets, harnessing the power of science and nanotechnology.
Using a minimal amount of energy, the invention captures water from the air and dehumidifies it, and they are already thinking about the possibility of expanding this process.