Water Harvester Desert Drinking
If you’re ever stuck in the middle of the desert, this innovative harvester just might come in handy. Developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, the machine utilizes fans to draw dry desert air over a cartridge containing a porous metal-organic framework (MOF) with the same surface area as a football pitch.

Water molecules from the air are then adsorbed by these internal pores, thus increasing the humidity and causing the water to condense. Heating the metal-organic framework – measuring 10″ square and 5″ thick – just a little then releases the collected water. This cartridge is intersected by two sets of channels with one for adsorbing water and the other for expelling it to the condenser for a continuous cycle.

Water Harvester Desert Drinking
Solar panels are connected to batteries so that the harvester can run at night, while also powering small heaters that drive the water out of the MOF. It’s reported that the harvester is capable of producing up to five cups of water (1.3-liters) per day for every kilogram of the MOF, and during tests that spanned over three days in California’s Mojave Desert, it did generate 0.7-litres per kilogram of water absorbing material per day.

Water Harvester Desert Drinking
Even during the most arid day in the desert, with a relative humidity of just 7% and temperatures over 80° Fahrenheit, the harvester generated 0.2-liters per kilogram of MOF per day. In the future, the team plans on building a refrigerator-sized harvester that can produce up to 250-liters of water per day, which is enough for a regular family to live off of.


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