A small, solar-powered device that pulls fresh water from the air? Scientists at MIT and UC Berkeley have created a prototype that does just that — and it only requires 20-30 percent humidity to work.
Professor Omar Yaghi, one of the senior scientists on the project, is calling the harvester “personalized water.” He envisions a future where water is supplied “off-grid, where you have a device at home running on ambient solar for delivering water that satisfies the needs of a household,” Yaghi said in a release.
Yaghi, a UC Berkeley chemistry professor, is also the inventor of the key element of the water harvester — metal-organic frameworks, or MOF. MOFs are compounds created by combining metals with organic molecules. The resulting materials can be highly absorbent, making them ideal for storing liquids and gas. There are now some 20,000 different MOFs created by researchers and scientists with different properties and applications.
In this case, Yaghi and his team at Berkeley created a …