Dec 25

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Pulling Water from Air

Rice University students were inspired by a desert beetle that pulls water from air.


Photo credit: Moongateclimber

Transcript of the Audio Podcast:

A desert beetle provides inspiration for scientists… on this CurrentCast.

A group of students challenged to create a man-made material based on something in the natural world, found inspiration in the Namib Desert beetle. The beetle has a hydrophilic or water-loving shell that pulls moisture out of the air when the wind blows, providing water for him to drink.

Rice University Professor Robert Vajtai explains that the students designed a system that is built like a sandwich. The bottom layer is water repellent, but the top attracts water. It pulls in moisture from the air, and then stores it in between the layers.

Though the researchers have proven the concept will work, Vajtai says it will need to be scaled up to have any practical application.

Support for CurrentCast comes from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas. Learn more online at CurrentCast.org

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/uncategorized/pulling-water-from-air/