Turn hot air into drinking water: Cool invention from Texas makes it possible

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Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have created something amazing for places where water is hard to find.

They’ve made a special gel that can turn the moisture in hot air into clean, drinkable water, using only the power of the sun.

How does it work? The team developed a unique material called a “hydrogel.” When the hydrogel is exposed to sunlight, it can pull water out of the air.

It can do this even when the temperature is as hot as 104 degrees, like the summers in Texas. This could be a lifesaver for people in hot and dry places where clean water is scarce.

Professor Guihua Yu, who led the team, says that the hydrogel is super efficient. It grabs water from the air really quickly and doesn’t use much energy.

The water gets released naturally, thanks to the heat from the sun, so you don’t need any extra equipment to make it work.

This gel is so effective that it can produce between 3.5 to 7 kilograms of water for each kilogram of gel.

The scientists have also made tiny particles from this gel, called “microgels,” that can capture and release water even faster.

Weixin Guan, a student who worked on this project, says that these microgels could make the technology even more effective.

The team is excited about turning this into a product that everyone can use. They’re working on making the gel even more efficient and are also thinking of ways to make it less expensive by using organic materials.

Imagine being able to put this device outside your home and having it make water for you, without any hassle. This could change lives in countries like Ethiopia, where a lot of people don’t have easy access to clean water.

The researchers are still working on improving this invention. They want to make sure it can be used by as many people as possible, all over the world.

They’re focusing on making these devices portable and easy to use in different situations.

This project is getting financial help from The Welch Foundation and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

The team hopes to take their work to the next level and turn it into a real-world solution for clean water. So the next time you complain about the heat, remember: it might just be what helps create clean drinking water in the future!

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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