Collecting water from the air is nothing new. Fog nets—typically constructed using a sheet of plastic mesh hung between a pair of poles—are often used in arid areas to capture water vapor. The vapor condenses into a liquid on the mesh and is then drawn down into a collection receptacle. Boom: drinkable water. That said, the amount of drinkable water that a fog net can yield doesn’t amount to much and, as its name suggests, if it’s not a foggy day, there’s not likely to be much, if any, water collected at all.
Happily, for people living in areas that are dryer than a popcorn fart, a team from the University of Akron have devised a way to spin nanoscale fibers that will provide a huge upgrade over the conventional fog nets in use today.
From New Scientist:
They used electrospun polymers – a technique which allowed them to create nanoscale fibres. These are tangled around fragments of expanded graphite, like spaghetti around meatballs. The fibers provide a large surface area for droplets to condense onto, and the graphite encourages the water to drip out of the material when it is squeezed or heated.
According to the team’s leader, Shing-Chung Josh Wong, fog nets made using these new nanoscale fibres could harvest as much as 180 liters of water per square meter of material deployed, every day. Fog nets made using plastic and other conventional materials? They’re lucky to snag 30 liters of water during the same amount of time with the same square footage of material deployed. Read the rest
Southern California is almost totally dependent on Sierra snowpack and the Colorado River for its water, and both sources are endangered by climate change, even as SoCal's cycle of long droughts and catastrophic, torrential rains gets more extreme thanks to climate change. Read the rest
The way this man casually hops on to a moving freighter in Hailuoto, Finland as it tears through ice and sub-zero waters should make anyone who sees this video feel a whole lot better about their morning commute. Read the rest
Scientists have been experimenting with "fog harps" in arid climates as an easy way to collect potable water from fog.
Via the paper:
Fog harvesting is a useful technique for obtaining fresh water in arid climates. The wire meshes currently utilized for fog harvesting suffer from dual constraints: coarse meshes cannot efficiently capture microscopic fog droplets, whereas fine meshes suffer from clogging issues. Here, we design and fabricate fog harvesters comprising an array of vertical wires, which we call “fog harps”. Under controlled laboratory conditions, the fog-harvesting rates for fog harps with three different wire diameters were compared to conventional meshes of equivalent dimensions. As expected for the mesh structures, the mid-sized wires exhibited the largest fog collection rate, with a drop-off in performance for the fine or coarse meshes. In contrast, the fog-harvesting rate continually increased with decreasing wire diameter for the fog harps due to efficient droplet shedding that prevented clogging. This resulted in a 3-fold enhancement in the fog-harvesting rate for the harp design compared to an equivalent mesh.
Waters along the Ohio River are at record levels, reports USA Today. Read the rest
The video that follows is an amusing takedown of the machine as he tries to dispense a simple glass of "mildly carbonated" water from it.
Let your water system boot. Booting is fun to watch.
UNESCO is about as good as it gets in the world of UN Specialized Agencies, responsible for designating and protecting world heritage sites, running literacy for the poorest people on Earth, supporting potable water programs, protecting fragile and endangered ecosystems, running disaster preparedness plans for all to use, protecting indigenous knowledge, protecting the free press, and digitizing the world's libraries. Read the rest
National Taiwan University of Arts students created this genius piece of activist art, popsicles made from the water of polluted local sources. From the translated project description:
We personally take Taiwan’s 100 polluted water sources, made it into popsicles, because the popsicles are not easy to save, we will re-engrave the likeness into a 1:1 poly model to do the show, through the beautiful packaging and content of the sense of contrast to convey that pure water is important, and Then we would like to ask you is: would you want to eat a beautiful frozen polluted puddle?
Water is viscous. With heat, the viscosity drops. And you can hear the difference in its splash.