From the most parched areas of Saudi Arabia to water-scarce areas of the western U.S., the idea of harvesting fog for water is catching on.
Now, a novel approach to this process could help meet affected communities’ needs for the life-essential resource. Scientists describe their new, highly efficient fog collector, inspired by a shorebird’s beak, in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Cheng Luo and his doctoral student, Xin Heng, explain that deserts and semi-arid areas cover about half of the Earth’s land masses. In some of these places, trucks bring in potable water for the people who live there. To find a more sustainable way to get water, these communities, which can’t draw water from underground or surface supplies, have turned to the air — and to nature for inspiration. They implement methods adapted from those that desert beetles, cacti and grasses use to catch water from the misty fog when it rolls in. But existing techniques require complicated, costly processes or collect only a small fraction of the water that fog has to offer. For new ideas, Luo’s team turned to shorebirds with long, thin beaks.
By opening and closing their beaks, shorebirds drive food-containing liquid drops into their throats. The researchers mimicked this phenomenon by building simple, fog-collecting, rectangular “beaks” out of glass plates connected by a hinge on one side. When open, the plates provide a large surface area where beads of fog condense. When the plates close, then re-open, the droplets slide toward the hinge and into a collection tube. A single 10-inch by 4-inch prototype “swallowed” about a tablespoon of water in 36 minutes. Over two hours, it harvested 400 to 900 times more water than both natural and other artificial fog-collectors.
The Latest on: Collect water from fog
via Google News
The Latest on: Collect water from fog
- Could this desert beetle help humans harvest water from thin air?on November 27, 2019 at 6:59 am
Now, a team of researchers has gained deeper insight into how the texture on the insect’s body helps it collect water. When the Namib Desert beetle (Stenocara gracilipes) “fog basks,” water droplets ...
- Harvesting fog can provide fresh water in desert regionson November 26, 2019 at 7:30 am
"The idea of using fog as a source of fresh water has been studied since the 1980s in various locations," Chan said. These studies have led to fog collection using nets and meshes, which are now ...
- Star Wars style 'vaporator' bottles that can turn fog into water in the desert are being developedon November 26, 2019 at 7:30 am
Scroll down for video 'Similar principles could perhaps be used to design water bottles that are capable of collecting fog, enabling a more portable source,' said engineer Fan Kiat Chan of the ...
- Artificial ‘beaks’ that collect water from fog: A drought solution?on September 17, 2019 at 11:54 am
They implement methods adapted from those that desert beetles, cacti and grasses use to catch water from the misty fog when it rolls in. But existing techniques require complicated, costly processes ...
- California professor awarded grant to harness water from fogon September 11, 2019 at 3:49 pm
(KGTV) - A California State University, Monterey Bay professor will receive a substantial grant from the Defense Department to find methods to harness fog. The $266,589 gift will fund research on ways ...
- How scientists are harvesting fog to secure the world’s water supplyon July 31, 2019 at 6:15 pm
Alongside scientists from the German Water Foundation, the Moroccan non-profit Dar Si Hmad has set up what's said to be the largest fog collection project in the world, about 19,000 square feet of ...
- Collecting clean water from air, inspired by desert lifeon March 18, 2019 at 12:25 pm
The cactus, beetle and desert grasses all collect water condensed from nighttime fog, gathering droplets from the air and filtering them to roots or reservoirs, providing enough hydration to survive.
via Bing News