May 31, 2022 23:26 GMT
The material uses a konjac root gum as a hydrophilic component, an edible plant commonly used in Asian cuisine.
Engineers from the University of Texas (USA) developed a revolutionary material for low cost capable of extracting water from the air, an advance that could solve the problem of the shortage of the vital liquid in the most arid areas of the planet.
Of agreement with the educational institution, the scientists created a gel made from cheap materials (sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid and lithium chloride), which can produce more than 6 liters of water per day in areas with less than fifteen % relative humidity, and 13 liters in areas with 30% moisture.
According to experts, the hydro-absorbent film uses a porous layer of heat-resistant cellulose as its hydrophobic component, while a starch-rich rubber extracted from the root of konjac, a plant used in Asian cuisine, works as the hydrophilic element that captures water. of the environment. The simplicity of the material, they say, allows users to mold it into various shapes and sizes, depending on particular needs.
“You don’t need an advanced degree to use it; it’s simple enough that anyone can make it at home if they have the materials,” said Youhong Guo, co-author of the article. published recently in the journal Nature, which suggests that it could be used massively, he added.
For her part, Guihua Yu, co-author of the publication, explained that the polymer they developed offers “practical solutions that people can use to obtain water in the hottest and driest places on Earth, and could allow millions of people without access drinking water to have simple devices at home to generate it”.
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