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Scientists Find Method of Extracting Water from Air Using Autonomous Solar-Powered System

"It is not a revolutionary process, but an unusual one," civil and environmental engineering professor Tomas Matuska

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The experts installed SAWER in the United Arab Emirates' town of Sweihan, located about 70 km east of Abu Dhabi. Pixabay

A team of scientists from the Technical University in Prague have said they found a method of extracting water from air using an autonomous solar-powered system.

The first prototype of Solar Air Water Earth Resource (SAWER) has the capacity to produce 100 litres of drinking water per day anywhere on the planet, even in the desert.

The experts installed SAWER in the United Arab Emirates’ town of Sweihan, located about 70 km east of Abu Dhabi.

“It is not a revolutionary process, but an unusual one,” civil and environmental engineering professor Tomas Matuska told Efe news, adding it used dehumidifiers that are often employed in the food industry.

Scientists, Water, Air
A team of scientists from the Technical University in Prague have said they found a method of extracting water from air using an autonomous solar-powered system. Pixabay

Matuska explained that the two-stage system consists of a desiccant that holds water molecules in its surface and then an air heater produces water vapour to be taken back to the surface.

A group of 12 scientists started the project in the Czech Republic’s capital in 2017 and created the first prototype that can be transported in two six-meter-long cargo containers.

One of the containers holds the production unit including distilled water equipment, while the second contains the accumulators to boost heat and cold processes, as well as energy control systems.

Photovoltaic modules are placed on the two containers in order to produce the energy necessary to start the process.

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The movable device aims to establish timely living conditions, or to facilitate civil-military operations in inhospitable places requiring an emergency water supply.

“The test (near Abi Dhabi) will last about six months, because we want to have information with data from summer, autumn and winter,” said Matuska, who is part of the team that developed SAWER in Prague.

The device will be tested in the laboratory during this period, although Matuska said it only requires “air filter changes, water canister emptying and cleaning for the photovoltaic modules.”

The prototype cost about 360,000 euros ($400,000), making the water extracted very expensive – $10 per litre in the first year.

 

Scientists, Water, Air
The first prototype of Solar Air Water Earth Resource (SAWER) has the capacity to produce 100 litres of drinking water per day anywhere on the planet, even in the desert. Pixabay

The project will be showcased at the Dubai Expo 2020, to be held between October 2020 and April 2021.

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“There is a great interest in our project, from the US to Australia,” Matuska said, adding: “We have signed a confidentiality agreement with a company with businesses in the Persian Gulf area.” (IANS)

Next Story

British Scientists Find Water for First Time in Atmosphere of Planet Outside Our Solar System

Researchers at University College London said Wednesday they found water vapor in a planet's air 110 light years from Earth

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British Scientists, Water, Atmosphere
A handout artist's impression released Sept. 11, 2019, by ESA/Hubble shows the K2-18b super-Earth, the only super-Earth exoplanet known to host both water and temperatures that could support life. VOA

British scientists say they have found water for the first time in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system.

Researchers at University College London said Wednesday they found water vapor in a planet’s air 110 light years from Earth that has temperatures suitable for life as we know it.

More than 4,000 exoplanets have been detected, but scientists say it is the only known exoplanet that has water, temperatures needed for life and a rocky surface.

It is not known if the planet, twice the size of Earth, eight times its mass, has water flowing on its surface.

British Scientists, Water, Atmosphere
British scientists say they have found water for the first time in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system. Pixabay

But scientists say the so-called Super Earth is an ideal distance from its sun to conceivably harbor life.

The planet, known as K2-18b, was discovered in 2015 by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

“Finding water in a potentially habitable world other than Earth is incredibly exciting,” said Angelos Tsiaras, lead author of the UCL report that was published in the journal Nature Astronomy. “K2-18b is not ‘Earth 2.0’ but it brings us closer to answering the fundamental question: Is the Earth unique?”

Scientists expect future space missions to detect hundreds of other exoplanets in coming decades.

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A new generation of space exploration instruments will be able to describe exoplanet atmospheres in much greater detail.

The European Space Agency’s ARIEL space telescope, for example, is scheduled for launch in 2028 and will observe some 1,000 planets, a sampling large enough to identify patterns and outliers. (VOA)