RSS researchers develop device to harvest potable water from desert air

[28-08-2022 10:19 AM]

Ammon News - A team of researchers at the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), Jordan’s largest research institution, has developed a machine that can use even the most arid air as a reservoir for drinking water.

Utilizing water vapor in the form of humidity, the patented device is capable of producing up to 35 liters of water per day, even in Jordan's arid, desert climate. The process can be carried out multiple times a day to deliver a continuous supply of clean drinking water.

Jordan has one of the world's poorest water resources, which are being depleted faster than they can be replenished. The problem is being exacerbated by climate change.

To address this challenge, a team at the RSS's Advanced Research Centre set out more than three years ago to develop a solution that treats the atmosphere as an untapped reservoir.

The research team, led by Kyle E. Cordova, Executive Director of Scientific Research, and Eng Husam Almassad, Staff Scientist, invented a novel atmospheric water harvesting machine that selectively captures and collects humidity from the surrounding air and condenses it into liquid water.

The machine has been vetted, validated, and approved through a rigorous peer-review process, and the results have been published in Nature Communications, one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals.

The device uses porous, molecular sponges that are designed to efficiently and selectively capture, concentrate, and condense water vapor from dry, desert air, utilizing cutting-edge technology. The water is released once the molecular sponge is full by raising the air's temperature.

The released water vapor is then condensed to yield liquid water that is filtered and mineralized for human consumption. This process can be driven by an external, solar-powered energy source.

The research team’s scientific report details how the machine operates using a proprietary algorithm that monitors climate fluctuations in real time to continuously optimize water production and power consumption.

This resulted in a 3-fold increase in daily water production, even in the arid desert. Crucially, the cost per litre is as low as 6.5 US cents and the water produced meets the national drinking standards of Jordan.

The RSS has registered a worldwide patent to commercialize the device through a spin-off company called AquaPoro Ventures Ltd, which aims to manufacture the machine in Jordan to bring water independence and security to families and communities by mid-2023.

The RSS sees this new technology as an important addition to an urgently needed armoury of tools to provide long-lasting global water solutions.

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