Material Made That Draws Moisture From Dry Air
Water is a compound necessary for human life but is not always accessible. To help with that, researchers at MIT have created a device using a metal-organic framework originally invented at Berkeley Lab that can collect moisture from even dry air and use sunlight to then release it.
A metal-organic framework (MOF) is exactly what it sounds like as it combines metal with organic molecules to create porous, rigid structures. These structures can be used to hold gases and liquids. In this case zirconium metal is used with adipic acid and the result is a MOF that loves water and can pull it out of air as dry as a desert, just 20-30% humidity. The solar-powered harvester that was built uses just one kilogram of the MOF, but is able to generate 2.8 liters of water from that arid air after just 12 hours.
Obviously this invention is very significant as it can bring water to so many people who need it, but we may see something even better coming in the future. This particular MOF is only able to absorb 20% of its weight in water, but there are others that may be able to reach 40%, and it should also be possible to tune the material for specific humidities.
Source: Berkeley Lab