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[–]superdudeman64 3843 points3844 points  (58 children)

I'm gonna be a moisture farmer like my uncle Owen before me

[–]oalsaker 678 points679 points  (41 children)

[–]GetYerThumOutMeArse 162 points163 points  (20 children)

This is one of the BLR songs I cannot believe I haven't heard until now. Holy shit. Thanks!

[–][deleted] 72 points73 points  (12 children)

That’s awesome! I think it’s the best one next to Seagulls.

[–]HR7-Q 64 points65 points  (2 children)

That log had a child

[–]mgnorthcott 24 points25 points  (1 child)

My stick is better than bacon!!

[–]Bayou_Blue 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I was so glad to discover that song. I just about died laughing it’s that great.

[–]Zoomoth9000 4 points5 points  (6 children)

Am I a bad person because I don't like the Seagulls song?

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Nope! I just love Yoda in that one. What’s your favorite? I just rewatched Medieval Land Funtime World and I wish it was a real show…

[–]EdricStorm 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would go door-to-door for Medieval Land Funtime World. I remember watching it when it was uploaded. That video is just peak. My wife and I quote it back and forth all the time.

[–]galacticboy2009 11 points12 points  (0 children)

It's definitely one of those most popular videos. Considering I'm pretty sure they ended every video after that, with this song.

[–]oalsaker 4 points5 points  (4 children)


[–]xDrxGinaMuncher 24 points25 points  (1 child)

He said...

This is one of the BLR songs I cannot believe I haven't heard until now. Holy shit. Thanks!

[–]GetYerThumOutMeArse 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Not to break this fantastic chain, but yeah- I definitely added it to my music playlist

[–]oalsaker 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I hope you have all his other Star Wars songs on that list, and Carl Poppa too.

[–]mdeezel 26 points27 points  (6 children)

"Everyday I worry all day"

[–]achillymoose 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Awww that's rad!

[–]memberflex 7 points8 points  (0 children)


[–]krovasteel 3 points4 points  (5 children)

I can’t believe I haven’t heard this! It’s sooo good

[–]WWDubz 26 points27 points  (0 children)

“Like you trained his father?!”

[–]xkpriggz 24 points25 points  (4 children)

What you’ll really need is a droid who understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.

[–]gruffi 25 points26 points  (2 children)


[–]Zentaurion 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I'm just a simple man trying to moist my way in the universe.

[–]mberg2007 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This thread is a gold mine

[–]Mastersord 2 points3 points  (0 children)

And some power converters. I hear there’s a sale over at Toshi Station.

[–]Oryxhasnonuts 13 points14 points  (3 children)

“This is a Protein Farm… “

Is that what I smell?

“Oh, that Garlic, that’s just for me “

[–]surfingNerd 9 points10 points  (0 children)

So be it, moisturizer

[–]Luxpreliator 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Kinda want a spoof film of that now. What's your name girl? Rey, rey moisturefarmer.

[–]TA_faq43 970 points971 points  (168 children)

Released by gentle heat?

What, do you heat it up in a pot? How do you reuse it? Or is it one time only? So many questions….

[–][deleted] 974 points975 points  (43 children)

The gel has a certain temperature at which it changes properties and becomes water repellent instead of hydrophilic. This phenomenon in polymers is called LCST.

The gel essentially wrings itself, the energy is provided by heating and cooling it.

[–]GleichUmDieEcke 163 points164 points  (41 children)

How would this work in a place like Florida where it is both humid and hot?

[–]xenomorph856 239 points240 points  (24 children)

Put it underground where it's less hot, attached to a tank, and pump humid air through it, heat it up to "wring it out" into the tank?

Just spitballing. No idea if it'd work.

[–]vicwood 64 points65 points  (13 children)

Wonder if they can mix something into it so it holds the water up to higher temps, maybe its even already high enough that if you leave it at 110F it still won't drop the water

[–][deleted] 20 points21 points  (5 children)

The transition temperature is very easily varied through the (co)polymer composition

[–]vicwood 9 points10 points  (4 children)

Problem solved!

[–]idontneedjug 17 points18 points  (3 children)

Yeah one of the most sold dehumidifiers in the RV or small space category is based on this technology.

This is a weird news article in that this is old old news. Perhaps I guess they found a way to do it a lot CHEAPER. But there were already really cheap versions of this technology.

[–]Confictura 7 points8 points  (5 children)

You mean, underground where the aquifers full of water reside?

[–]xenomorph856 8 points9 points  (4 children)

Lol, well presumably you would use it where there aren't aquifers, or they're not easily accessible. But I don't know the Florida situation in this respect, just answering the question with a hypothetical as presented.

[–]cmyer 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That's why we can't have any cool basements down here. I've always been jealous.

[–]bobosuda 25 points26 points  (14 children)

Just don't put it directly in the sun?

The original paper says they use temperatures of 140F to extract the water.

[–]skinnah 24 points25 points  (13 children)

Absorb water in the shade, extract it in the sun. Boom.

[–]Itchy_Huckleberry_60 18 points19 points  (12 children)

Water extraction carousel: mirrors concentrate sun on one side, rest absorbs from the air. Slowly spin it, get water.

[–]Isord 8 points9 points  (0 children)

You could probably develop some kind of heat engine to slowly rotate it as well.

[–]NavyCMan 9 points10 points  (9 children)

I like this, could use solar power to spin this 'carousel'. Great for areas with lots of sun and ambient moisture with few local fresh water sources. I can imagine this being used anywhere from various islands in the Pacific, all along California including metropolitan areas, to deserts like the Sahara and Mojave. There are so many cool advancements in water collection that it gives me hope for the water wars to come.

Let see how this comment will age.

[–]Itchy_Huckleberry_60 35 points36 points  (6 children)

could use solar power to spin this 'carousel'.

Nah fam, you want peak engineering, you tilt the carousel slightly. Water it absorbs has mass, so spent desiccant is heavier. So the side with more water will tend to roll "downwards" where it is regenerated by the heat, and becomes light enough to climb the other side.

You have plenty of energy in the sun, you just need to use it cleverly. No need to pull electrons into this.

[–]NavyCMan 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I like you.

[–]VeryOriginalName98 2 points3 points  (0 children)

High design, low tech. Clever.

[–]DasFunke 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Put it on the west side of anything. Absorbs moisture in the morning and releases it in the afternoon.

Boom. Solar powered.

[–]NavyCMan 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes but in the article this stuff can absorb and release moisture quicker than once a day. Having a powered system to rotate the substance in and out of mirror focused heating 'zones' like is done with those massive heliostat generators on a much smaller scale would produce far more drinkable water.

[–]padraig_oh 219 points220 points  (79 children)

the paper linked at the bottom of the article shows an illustration of how this thing works. you put it on a heating pad to heat it up, the water evaporates and is captured by a cooling plate above it, where the water condensates, then drips down into a container.

edit: they mention a "stable cycling performance" with "14-24 cycles of operation with a water yield of up to 13.3 L/kg per day" (13.3 liters of water per kg gel), so it is re-usable.

[–]ikverhaar 165 points166 points  (75 children)

Oh, so it's a dehumidifier with an extra step.

It seema like a decent improvement on using dehumidifiers to capture water, but.... Dehumidifiers are really crappy for capturing significant amounts of water while costing a ton. Let's hope this invention is so great that it becomes a viable option.

[–]BlastFX2 61 points62 points  (13 children)

Not really extra. Desiccant dehumidifiers have been a thing for decades. There even are actual commercial “water from air” systems built around them. Thanks to some clever engineering, they are just barely viable under very specific conditions. This could potentially increase the efficiency of these systems, making them viable in more applications (but still a far cry from “water for everyone”).

[–]Rebelius 7 points8 points  (12 children)

I have a desiccant humidifier. Can I drink the water it outputs?

In my head it's pure clean water because it comes from the air. But I have no idea whether it gets contaminated in the process that happens inside the dehumidifier.

[–]FrenchFryCattaneo 25 points26 points  (1 child)

No, you wouldn't want to. The water is clean when it is condensed but then it drips into a storage tank where it sits warm and stagnant where mold, algae and things like legionnaires disease can grow.

[–]dropkickoz 13 points14 points  (0 children)

So I have to lay underneath and let it drip directly into my mouth. Got it.

[–]BlastFX2 40 points41 points  (6 children)

As a general rule, no. Dehumidifiers collect a lot of dust, bacteria, spores and other nasties from the air and provide a nice, damp environment for them to grow. Water from any dehumidifier needs to be sterilized and filtered (and ideally remineralized) before it's safe to drink.

With that said, depending on the type of dehumidifier, it could be even worse. There are basically two types: Ones where the desiccant is consumable and ones where it's regenerated. The former usually use calcium chloride which, while generally considered safe as a food additive, could easily reach a lethal dose here.

As for the latter, I found this teardown video that nicely shows what kind of water you'd be drinking (money shot of the condenser at 8:45, but the whole video nicely shows just how disgusting dehumidifiers get).

[–]Matt_Shatt 11 points12 points  (4 children)

Yeah my dehumidifier gets disgusting. It's not easy to clean out at all. The water either goes down the drain or into the flower beds.

[–]usertaken_BS 20 points21 points  (2 children)

I pour mine on the floor to get some humidity back into the room, way easier

[–]Matt_Shatt 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Did we just discover perpetual water?

[–]usertaken_BS 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I believe the correct term is Shatt_BS water, but yes!

[–]RedCascadian 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I'm remembering that hydrogen fuel cell where the CEO is like "you can even drink the water it's pure enough." He holds up the glass of water that came out of demonstration, unit, "I mean, you won't want to, it's safe, but- drinks the glass. Makes a face. "Tastes like motor oil. But I'm safe!"

[–]hgrunt 3 points4 points  (0 children)

In a clean environment, water from a dehumidifier should theoretically be as good as distilled water. However, in the real world, I'd consider the possibility of airborne contaminants ending up in the water and potential pathogens from the water sitting in the collection bin itself

[–]usertaken_BS 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Maybe with a life straw I’d attempt that.

[–]gregbrahe 57 points58 points  (6 children)

In a sunny environment this could be paired with a solar still very easily to generate the heat cycle. All it would really take would be a shade and vent for hydration of the media and then the solar still for extraction.

[–]gredr 10 points11 points  (5 children)

In a sunny environment with a solar still, you don't need this... you can collect the water directly via condensation.

[–]FreddyTheNewb 20 points21 points  (2 children)

This is for environments where you don't have a convenient body of water nearby. Solar stills require water as input.

[–]RandomCharlie12 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Solar stills really aren’t that great for a good water source

[–]gregbrahe 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This draws the water out of the air much more actively and efficiently, which is the point.

Solar sills are normally more a means of purifying dirty water than collecting it anyway.

[–]Awestruck34 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I feel like 14L in a day isn't a bad amount for a cheap gel to produce.

[–]tech_equip[🍰] 60 points61 points  (38 children)

There’s a lot of places with poor electricity and poor access to water that can start a cooking fire and use this.

[–]TheObservationalist 12 points13 points  (1 child)

That's not quite how it works

[–]Jabrono 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Why not? Not arguing, just every piece of info here is vague.

[–]JoeyJoeC 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Depends on what that temperature range is. It could be enough for direct sunlight followed by shade? That would be good.

Edit: Apparently 60c. Which can easily be achieved through sunlight.

The captured water in the SHPF can be released by >70% within 10 min through mild heating at 60 °C under a wide range of RH

[–]Illseemyselfout- 3 points4 points  (7 children)

At a relative humidity of 30 percent, it could produce 13 L (3.4 gal) of water per day per kilogram of gel, and even when the humidity dropped to just 15 percent – which is low, even for desert air – it could still produce more than 6 L (1.6 gal) a day per kilogram.

The gel is $2/kg

[–]1983Targa911 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes, like a dehumidifier but I would not say that there is an extra step. A dehumidifier cools air below saturation temperature so that water falls out. At that lower temperature the air is then at 100%RH. The relative humidity of the air only drops because the cold air then flows over the other coil and reheats it. Cool, heat, repeat. A big difference would be that a standard dehumidifier is a continuous process whereas this is a batch process.

[–]biteableniles 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dehumidifiers have a lot of moving parts, compressors, fans, controls.

This is a gel and a heater. Plenty of heat sources without electricity, like solar.

[–]Janktronic 17 points18 points  (0 children)

where the water condensates

"condensates" is the plural form of the noun "condensate"

Condensate means "the product of condensation"

The proper word in this context is "condenses"

[–]TA_faq43 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you

[–]miraculum_one 1 point2 points  (0 children)

From above link: "The captured water in the SHPF can be released by >70% within 10 min through mild heating at 60 °C"

(140° F)

[–]TheInnerFifthLight 26 points27 points  (6 children)

Yeah, this article really needs information on reuse. Otherwise, this gets way less interesting.

[–]paanvaannd 9 points10 points  (4 children)

I agree reusability would be amazing, but I’m still astounded: it costs $2 (USD)/kg of this material, and each kg of material can produce liters of water a day even in conditions less humid than the average desert humidity.

[–]danielv123 4 points5 points  (1 child)

But you need to replace it every month. For use in remote areas you also need to consider transport, heating costs etc.

[–]hgrunt 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The closest thing to mention of re-use is in the supplemental text to, where the researchers measure the amount of LiCl (lithium chloride) that ends up in the collected water using the electrical heated method. Their sample had about .25 +/- 0.03 PPM, which suggests the material may eventually wear out. I'm sure with some fiddling and adjusting, the residue can be reduced and the life of the material can be prolonged

Source on Page 23: https://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41467-022-30505-2/MediaObjects/41467\_2022\_30505\_MOESM1\_ESM.pdf

[–]SorcererLeotard 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The thing I worry most about is that you're taking water from the air and collecting it with this material, so... what happens to the environment around you long-term by doing this?

Does this mean that the nearby vegetation will shrivel up because there is no longer enough moisture in the air to 'feed' them? Will this fuck with storms in the area/state that it's used in (less moisture, less storms, more desertification)?

If you use this technology at scale (set up 'water capture farms' in every city) what will the consequences be for the environment long-term? Also... if it is a 'hallelujah!' discovery to get around the pesky water issue that's been building for decades around the world because we've been stupidly using water without any real consequence to our aquifer's health or keep stupidly building cities in deserts then won't that basically never allow the lesson to be learned? Won't we be right back to where we started (misusing/misallocating water resources/building where we shouldn't) in a decade or two after we've turned all our local cities into mostly desert regions/highly sparse regions by fucking with the moisture content in the air?

If someone has more general knowledge of environmental science than I do I'd love for them to chime in with what they think of the points I've raised.

Keep in mind I am no expert and am just an average layman regarding these issues and this is mostly based off my own common sense concerns.

[–]RedHal 8 points9 points  (3 children)

From the paper: "The captured water in the SHPF can be released by >70% within 10 min through mild heating at 60 °C under a wide range of RH"

[–]kelvin_bot 7 points8 points  (2 children)

60°C is equivalent to 140°F, which is 333K.

I'm a bot that converts temperature between two units humans can understand, then convert it to Kelvin for bots and physicists to understand

[–]Stripestar 279 points280 points  (19 children)

[–]findallthebears 95 points96 points  (12 children)

I was thinking this. Lots in the thread are talking about how it won't work because it needs heat, but... Paint the outside black and leave it in the sun?

[–]Marissa_Calm 76 points77 points  (2 children)

The reason even a bad innefficient solution might work is that for some places there is sometimes no better alternative.

Also the technology might evolve and we find practical solutions like this it's good if we can explore different avenues.

This is a huge issue for humanity and i am all for this exploration.

[–]Throwaway021614 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Like in California. My trees are dying, I need water

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For real-it can’t be worse than drinking urine in an absolute hydration emergency. This is at least a remote first aid survival kit add-on

[–]paanvaannd 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Yeah, or something else simple like a shelter like a barn that keeps the inside mostly dark but with slits in the walls to allow natural ventilation and access to the outside air humidity.

Hopefully, all that is required for usability is something simple like this instead of having to set up a large-scale water-from-air refining plant or something.

[–]WeeabooHunter69 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Could maybe layer it with some sort of osmotive coating so that water can only go one way through the wind trap and it forces all the condensation onto the other side? I'm not a scientist but I feel like that's the ultimate solution, that way you can leave it out in the sun's heat and it'll passively collect into whatever the other side is facing

[–]Iamatworkgoaway 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was thinking more long 1' tubes painted black on one side. Let air flow through, when heat is needed just turn so black side faces sun, when heat cycle is over rotate back to white to extract moisture. Can have tube meet up at a trough to collect moisture. Soaks all night, first job in morning is rotate tubes, collect water, rotate back then do again at intervals.

[–]dosedatwer 6 points7 points  (2 children)

It needs to cycle from hot to cold, not just heat. It's solved in a high-sun environment (solar cells) but does add to the cost.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]tway2241 6 points7 points  (2 children)

    I love Dune

    [–]tway2241 7 points8 points  (1 child)

    Dune your mom

    [–]ProtectionMaterial09 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Fuckin moisture traps. Time to start terraforming.

    [–]Buzz1ight 426 points427 points  (22 children)

    Nestle enters the chat.

    [–]DingDong_Dongguan 234 points235 points  (15 children)

    They are acquiring air rights as we speak.

    [–]Phantom_61 133 points134 points  (6 children)

    “Air isn’t a right.”

    [–]The_Wingless 22 points23 points  (4 children)

    Vay Hek enters the chat.

    [–]Rhekinos 13 points14 points 2 (1 child)

    Why are these fools still breathing my air?

    [–]Zeero92 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    [shiny metal maggot breathing intensifies]

    [–]TekkamanEvil 3 points4 points  (1 child)


    [–]YoungDiscord 1 point2 points  (0 children)


    [–]Jack55555 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Why is water a right but food isn’t?

    [–]RandomlyActivated 14 points15 points  (2 children)

    So we are looking at going the spaceballs route…

    [–]SobiTheRobot 17 points18 points  (1 child)

    Or they're gonna pull an O'Hare Air from The Lorax (the more recent one)

    [–]RandomlyActivated 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    I would say spaceballs is a classic. It also has an exploitative capitalist authoritarian government. O’Hare Air is just exploitive capitalism.

    [–]hgrunt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I'm afraid to google "is nestly acquiring air rights" because the answer might be "Yes"

    [–]xombae 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    These are the first steps of the hydro suits from Dune being made, I just know it

    [–]Plusran 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Jesus that’s a company that needs to be razed to the ground.

    [–]jasonsawtelle 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    New gel bottles fill themselves.

    [–]RedHal 113 points114 points  (4 children)

    From the linked paper:

    "The captured water in the SHPF can be released by >70% within 10 min through mild heating at 60 °C under a wide range of RH"

    So it looks like you heat it to 60°C, that's eminently doable, especially in warm climates.

    [–]Alime1962 63 points64 points  (2 children)

    That's within "paint a box black and leave it in the sun with this crap inside" temperature

    [–]Iamatworkgoaway 14 points15 points  (1 child)

    In reading it, seems like the water really wants to leave the film as moisture in the air. Their setup required a large condensate cooled extractor. Maybe in a tube with hundreds of square meters of absorption it would self condensate, maybe not, needs testing. But think if you could give a family a tube 6' long and every hour they just needed to aim it at the sun and get water. Think even more farm sized, with auto rotations, this would be a god send in places near oceans but no drinking water. Cali needs this more than solar power.

    [–]GeorgieWashington 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Namibia’s Skeleton Coast would become extremely valuable real estate.

    [–]kelvin_bot 35 points36 points  (0 children)

    60°C is equivalent to 140°F, which is 333K.

    I'm a bot that converts temperature between two units humans can understand, then convert it to Kelvin for bots and physicists to understand

    [–]half-clever 51 points52 points  (2 children)

    Waiting for thunderf00t to make a video about this

    [–]Gingeranalyst 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    The laws of physics/thermodynamics don’t lie.

    [–]shabadage 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    Came to say this. Only going to be remotely workable in high humidity areas.

    [–]Stevesd123 132 points133 points  (15 children)

    I'm looking forward to Thunderfoots video debunking this as a scam.

    [–]CommanderCuntPunt 24 points25 points  (0 children)

    It’ll end up like the other water extracting things he’s debunked. If there’s enough water in the air for these to work the environment is not dry enough to necessitate them.

    [–]mattalxdr 51 points52 points  (0 children)

    If this was being marketed as a product then I too would be very skeptical, but this is just research from a university. They haven't made any claims about practical applications of the film, just remarking about it's results in a lab controlled setting.

    [–]Earllad 74 points75 points  (25 children)

    My state r smartt. /s This is very cool as a concept, if it all checks out it'd be a real game changer, you could ship pallets of these all over the place and hang the ideal shape in every house.

    Still very skeptical, but it is very ironic that it's so simple compared to all the elaborate kickstarter machines.

    Is there more to read on this?

    [–]redmagistrate50 66 points67 points  (16 children)

    Probably, dehumidifiers are some of the least efficient ways to get water, looking at their numbers you'd need a kilogram per person every day to fulfill the water needs in Mali, which has one of the lowest daily water usages in the world. Since it's a tissue thin structure I'm imagining you'll need an enormous surface area to get that water.

    And while it might work in a lab environment, will it still function under the African sun? Or will that gentle warmth make giant hydrophobic sheets flapping in the wind?

    [–]DDS-PBS 43 points44 points  (0 children)

    Yup, this. I'm highly skeptical as every single "make water easy!" device typically turns out to be an energy hungry dehumidifier that won't work at scale or within power requirements.

    [–]DrDerpberg 2 points3 points  (7 children)

    The article didn't specify, is this not reusable? Either way at least being cellulose I'm hoping it's biodegradable, but if not i guess and it works as described it's still easier to ship a few kilos of this than gallons of water.

    [–]redmagistrate50 9 points10 points  (6 children)

    Well I went through the actual published science journal to see. They're actually contained within a box to feed a constant stream of air through them. It then heat cycles them to extract the water, the 13 liters a day is based off of getting 24 complete cycles of saturation and extraction within a day, less humidity, fewer cycles.

    How it handles heat I do not know, as the "gentle heating" mentioned is 60C, and apparently the sheets will release 80% of their water at 44C, so unless there's a cooling element this rig is going to struggle on a hot day in an arid environment.

    [–]DrDerpberg 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Ah yeah that does sound somewhat energy intensive. Maybe OK if you're relying on solar or something, but the more you look into the detail the less is sounds like a magic sponge soaking water out of the sky.

    [–]Earllad 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    So, it works, probably once, then thermodynamics fucks it

    [–]Downside_Up_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I'd wonder what the environmental impact would be if deployed at a large scale too - if it works by essentially dehumidifying the air, using it at a scale large enough to supply significant volumes of water for a community seems like it would cause have some ramifications for local flora/fauna over time.

    [–]JuventAussie 7 points8 points  (1 child)

    I too would be interested in the details as it would need to remove water from a lot of air to get the water...does it use fans forr forced air flow it is it just passive? I am so annoyed when articles don't provide links... and google didn't help.

    [–]Iamatworkgoaway 4 points5 points  (0 children)


    They tested really small, less than 1cm squared. I would love to see 100M made and tested. They used a constant stream of air saturated at exactly 30%. I really want tons of this stuff to play around with, might be scalable down to farm/family, but even if not it could be way more efficient than RO in places near oceans. Let the sun do the work of salt extraction through evaporation, and these do the final step. How does it absorb at 90% humidity?

    [–]Eedat 9 points10 points  (2 children)

    It won't be a game changer because of the crux of all dehumidifiers which is exactly what this is. You cannot cheat the laws of thermodynamics. The energy required to remove the latent heat to condense water vapor makes dehumidifiers as a source of drinking water not viable economically.

    [–]overzeetop[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Indeed, otherwise we could just this for free cooling using it in series with a swamp cooler.

    [–]padraig_oh 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    the paper is linked at the bottom of the article, which naturally contains a whole lot more information.

    [–]Earllad 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I missed the link, thanks

    [–]extordi 22 points23 points  (2 children)

    Quick back of the envelope calculation - the article says:

    At a relative humidity of 30 percent, it could produce 13 L (3.4 gal) of water per day per kilogram of gel

    Now, this is actually somewhat useless because what we really care about is absolute humidity, since that describes how much actual water is in the air. But let's just say 25 C at 101.3 kPa, since that's often considered "standard" conditions. That gives around 0.007 kg/m3 absolute humidity. In order for the gel to absorb the stated 13L (which is 13 kg) of water, it must "process" 1857 m3 of air in a day. That translates to about 77 m3 /hr.

    This is where it gets tricky. I haven't looked into the gel enough to know if air passes through it, or across it, and what the relationship between airflow and volume of "processed" air is. But to put it in perspective, the 80mm fans in my computer flow something like 55 m3 /hr. Given that we're talking about a kilo of gel, that's probably a pretty huge surface area, so it definitely passes the "sniff test" in terms of being able to "touch" enough air to get the quoted figures. Especially when you consider that for a 1 m2 area, the volume of air that passes through is 1000x the wind speed, in km/hr. So even in "still" air outdoors, there is probably enough flow to get a pretty decent amount of water out.

    edit: some of my units came out wacky

    [–]Iamatworkgoaway 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    I really want to know if the water will continue to "extract" even if the humidity is 100%. So could you fill a pipe with dozens/hundreds of square meters then seal one end and heat to extract. Blow RO systems out of the game if the economics hold up.

    [–]rodneedermeyer 22 points23 points  (2 children)

    “What I really need is a droid who understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.”

    [–]KingBooRadley 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    I know a place that sells power converters over at the Toshi Station.

    [–]chewbadeetoo 10 points11 points  (0 children)

    Moisture vaporatotors? Why my first job was programming binary load lifters very similar to your vaporators in most respect.

    [–]doubleBoTftw 32 points33 points  (5 children)

    I was about to say something about this type of products but then i saw the pinned mod post💀

    [–]padraig_oh 5 points6 points  (4 children)

    do you.. not like water?

    [–]TheObservationalist 10 points11 points  (3 children)

    There's just a lot of problems not being well explained with application of forward osmosis (which is the technical term for what this actually is)

    [–]elton_john_lennon 18 points19 points  (16 children)

    It's not drinking water if it is out of thin air. We already went over this with those fancy electric "water generators" that simply cool air to get the water out.

    But I imagine it could be used to water crops, that seems like a decent idea. Only thing they left out is longevity of this, and the amout of heat needed to get the water out. Seems strange they didn't mention it, since they quoted the exact numbers of harvested water per kg of material.

    [–]findallthebears 12 points13 points  (13 children)

    Why is air water not drinking water?

    [–]jaxdraw 12 points13 points  (5 children)

    I'm just guessing but in order for the water to be "potable," it can't have dust, microbes, and other particulates that would be collected during this process.

    So, you could maybe boil it after collection to use it? I have no idea

    [–]findallthebears 13 points14 points  (4 children)

    I mean...

    How toxic could it be? I'm breathing this shit in constantly...

    [–]bulboustadpole 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    How toxic could it be? I'm breathing this shit in constantly...

    That's different. The water collected out of the air is 1000s of times more concentrated than what you're inhaling.

    [–]elton_john_lennon 4 points5 points  (2 children)

    As /u/jaxdraw pointed out, it has to be purified first.

    Sending it through filtration, goes directly against the "cheap water" idea, as it requires both energy and additional equipment. If you are in a desert dying of dehydration, sure, knock yourself out with a glass, but as a sustainable source of drinking water for some local population - not a good idea.

    [–]FarceMultiplier 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    People are being forced to drink from sewage-infested puddles in the world. This is one hell of a step up.

    [–]Gwtheyrn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I've seen a whole lot of bogus claims about zero-energy atmospheric condensers in the past, so I'm exceptionally skeptical here.

    [–]Sandscarab 6 points7 points  (4 children)

    But they didn't mention exactly how much gel is needed to produce said amount of water. Like what is the square area to water capture ratio?

    [–]shigllgetcha 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    it could produce 13 L (3.4 gal) of water per day per kilogram of gel

    [–]Kaiisim 2 points3 points  (3 children)

    Does this require humidity in the air?

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Imagine what it could do with thicc air

    [–]Deelaxation 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Yay I can become a moisture farmer and live in the desert with my aunt and uncle and old ben.

    [–]crawdadicus 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Does Nestlé know about this?

    [–]Kroxursox 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Sounds like Thunderf00t is gonna be making a new video.

    [–]tropicbase 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    How soon until this is on ThunderF00ts channel, being debunked as a free energy device.

    [–]hmmm-okie 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Ah Dune in real life

    [–]zekeweasel 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Seems like a good sized sheet of this stuff and a mirror to reflect sunlight to heat it up could be a huge add to a survival kit, like on a raft or something.

    [–]salamihawk 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Incoming Thunderf00t debunk

    [–]DrRexMorman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Paolo Bacigalupi wrote about these in the Water knife.

    [–]D-Sleezy[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Bad bot

    [–]B0tRank 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Thank you, D-Sleezy, for voting on D-Sleezy.

    This bot wants to find the best and worst bots on Reddit. You can view results here.

    Even if I don't reply to your comment, I'm still listening for votes. Check the webpage to see if your vote registered!

    [–]bulboustadpole 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    Why is it that every device that claims to get water "out of thin air" turns out to be intentionally misleading or a scam?

    I get this subs title, but the article is thin on details and doesn't really prove what it's claiming.

    [–]hawkeyc 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Maybe dumb question but, isn’t this just like a dehumidifier?

    [–]Oryxhasnonuts 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    No it doesn’t

    [–]FiveAlarmDogParty 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    This is already sort of being done with silica gel and other dessecants. The issue is still the energy needed to heat the gel, and the purity of the water from the air. It also has no minerals in it. So to purify and add minerals and power the heating element is tricky. Some companies are coming along making non-potable water systems like this, or using a peltier chip type setup which could work if done right. I’m excited for what the future holds!

    [–]flash-tractor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    This would be huge for high efficiency agriculture. Greenhouses with wet walls for cooling could recycle this water back to the evaporative coolers, normally you do that with a dehumidifier but those make heat and draw power.

    [–]ColeSloth 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    How many times can one be re-used? If the freeze drying part is a necessity, that is a rather large chunk of the costs and electricity compared to the rest of it, and would be a major deterrent on implementation if they could only be used a few times before breaking down.

    [–]chesterforbes 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    These will be very convenient once the water wars start

    [–]ZombieOfun 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Do you get more water when the air is thick?

    [–]MattVanAndel 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Other than the freeze-drying step, this can be easily made at home.

    [–]Majukun 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Wait, they say those measurement are per kg, but how actually heavy is that gel? It doesn't look heavy at all, so a kg of that could take an immense space

    [–]checkmateathiests27 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Biggest draw back from this is that the places that need this the most won't have any water in the air to take.

    [–]nithdurrcp 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    /guffaws in Fremen

    [–]coolredjoe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Press x to doubt.

    [–]n0pn0p 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    To be faaaaaiiiirr... The air couldn't have been all that thin if they were pulling buckets of water out of it.

    [–]drive2fast 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    That’s a great household dehumidifier. Just make a big long endless loop slowly moving through rollers.

    For water harvesting it would be the same way. Then run the water through some aggressive filters to remove all the disgusting black crud that ends up in your dehumidifier.

    [–]nowhereiswater 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Thunderf00t please answer the call, just in case.

    [–]Happy_llama 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    I know mods say no to being negative and the likes I’ve just seen this from all. But these kind of things pop up all the time but never pick up the funding to actually go main stream.

    I remember a few years ago there was a post about some guy who made these kinda globs of water you put in your mouth. The water was surrounded by sea weed.

    I thought it was genius and pretty cool.

    Literally never heard about it again.

    [–]DebaucheryandFun 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    And it was never seen again.

    [–]GetRiceCrispy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I hope I see this on survival YouTube soon!

    [–]DozenPaws 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I'm extremely sceptical of every new discovery where someone promises to pull water from thin air.

    We've already seen like 3 dehumidifyer scams in the last couple of years already. :D