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IIT-Guwahati develops method to harvest water from air

9th December, 2020 Society

Context: A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed a pitcher plant-inspired inexpensive method for harvesting water from humid air.

  • The method, developed by spraying a sponge-like porous polymeric material on a simple A4 printer paper, can also used in underwater hulls of ships and submarines to prevent bio-fouling as well as to prevent icing on aircraft windows.
  • Such water harvesting techniques use the concept of hydrophobicity or water-repelling nature of some materials such as the lotus leaf”.
  • Hydrophobicity is unsuitable for water harvesting from highly humid environments because high moisture content can displace the trapped air and cause permanent damage.
  • Researchers used the concept of chemically patterned slippery liquid-infused porous surface, or SLIPS for the first time to effectively harvest water from moist or foggy air.