Researchers have found a way to turn air into drinkable water with a solar-powered device

Scientists have built a new solar-powered device that can pull drinkable water from air using nothing but sunlight.

The device, which is about the size of a coffee mug, contains a powdery substance known as metal-organic framework or MOF.

This material is porous, and is composed of organic and metal components stitched together at a molecular level to form a sponge-like configuration.

Invented by Omar Yaghi, of MIT, the MOF is hydrophilic (water-attracting), allowing water vapour to collect in the pores at room temperature.


When the device is heated by sunlight, water is released from the pores as vapour and collects on the cooler lower surface of the device as liquid.

Yaghi and his team demonstrated their prototype could pull around three litres of water per day in conditions with just 20% humidity.

The team plans to carry out improvements in an effort to scale up the technology.

An estimated one-third of the world’s population live in areas where humidity is relatively low.

The researchers hope their technology will eventually supply clean drinking water in places around the globe where water is scarce.

The study published in the journal Science.


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