Technion researchers have developed a new system that produces water from the air in desert areas • The benefit: isolated communities will enjoy clean water
The innovative system that produces water from the air // Photo: Technion spokesmen
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about half of the world's population will suffer from drinking water deficiency as early as 2025. The Technion is now introducing a development designed to provide a solution to the problem: an independent and portable water-producing system designed to allow access to clean water - one of the 17 sustainable development goals The UN in 2015. The innovative system will also be able to provide clean water to isolated communities that are far from water sources.
The new technology developers are Prof. David Brodai and Prof. Eran Friedler, and Ilan Katz, the chief engineer of the system. The three have developed the first prototype of its kind in the world: an inexpensive and efficient energy system for producing water from air. The technology is particularly relevant to small, isolated localities that are significantly away from fresh or saltwater sources.
As the cost of transporting water increases with the distance of the community from the water source or the desalination plant, small and isolated communities will benefit especially from the new system, which allows the water to be produced locally.
The new technology is based on a two-stage cycle: separating the water vapor from the air through absorption by a dedicated concentrated saline solution (desiccant) and then separating it from the solution at sub-atmospheric pressure.
"One of the advantages of the new technology is the fact that, through the saline solution, water undergoes significant treatment," explains Prof. Brodai. "Our development makes water an achievable resource, as it enables water to be produced anywhere in the world, regardless of existing water sources."
Unlike existing water extraction technologies, which are based on cooling the air entering the system. This only cools the water vapor and significantly reduces the energy needed to produce water.
According to Prof. Friedler, "Existing technologies work in direct cooling, meaning they cool all the air that enters the contents and condense the water vapor, much like an air conditioner. So, these systems have an energy waste because they cool all the air while water vapor accounts for only up to three percent From the air mass. "
Ben Gido, who was a graduate student in the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, participated in the development of the system, Dr. Gomid Khalid of the Energy Laboratory of the Mechanical Engineering Faculty, Dr. Yigal Evron of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (hosted by Dr. Khalid and Prof. Emeritus Gershon Grossman) For civil and environmental engineering.