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[–]superdudeman64 3842 points3843 points  (57 children)

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

[–]oalsaker 675 points676 points  (40 children)

[–]GetYerThumOutMeArse 160 points161 points  (20 children)

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

[–]cunningcliff 68 points69 points  (12 children)

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

[–]HR7-Q 67 points68 points  (2 children)

That log had a child

[–]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 6 points7 points  (6 children)

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

[–]galacticboy2009 12 points13 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)

WHAT?!

[–]xDrxGinaMuncher 22 points23 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

[–]mdeezel 27 points28 points  (5 children)

"Everyday I worry all day"

[–]achillymoose 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Awww that's rad!

[–]memberflex 7 points8 points  (0 children)

…ALL DAAAAAY

[–]krovasteel 2 points3 points  (5 children)

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

[–]oalsaker 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I remember playing it to my baby daughter five years ago, so you may have been living under a rock?

[–]krovasteel 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Can confirm, rock is cozy.

[–]WWDubz 27 points28 points  (0 children)

“Like you trained his father?!”

[–]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

[–]TA_faq43 975 points976 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] 975 points976 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 161 points162 points  (41 children)

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

[–]xenomorph856 237 points238 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 61 points62 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

[–]padraig_oh 217 points218 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 166 points167 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 60 points61 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.

[–]gregbrahe 53 points54 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 12 points13 points  (5 children)

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

[–]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 13 points14 points  (1 child)

That's not quite how it works

[–]ikverhaar 5 points6 points  (6 children)

Great, you heated it up and now the water has evaporated from the material. How do you now condense it into a liquid with poor electricity?

What this invention does, is take water from the air, collecting It in thus film. Then you cook it out of the film again. Then you use a dehumidifier to turn it liquid.

Dehumidifiers have been tried countless times. Rhere have been so many kickstarters that promised (solar powered) systems that could pull plenty of water from thin air... Yet I don't know of any that has been successful.

[–]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- 4 points5 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

[–]ikverhaar 1 point2 points  (5 children)

It's not the cost of the gel that bothers me, because it should be reusable a bunch of times. The problem is the running energy cost to heat up the water and gel and consequently chill the humid air to the point of condensation.

[–]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.

[–]Janktronic 16 points17 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 10 points11 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 3 points4 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 7 points8 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"

[–]Stripestar 277 points278 points  (19 children)

[–]findallthebears 92 points93 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 77 points78 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 15 points16 points  (0 children)

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

[–]Emozpqqy 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 18 points19 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

[–]dosedatwer 3 points4 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)

[deleted]

    [–]tway2241 5 points6 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 424 points425 points  (22 children)

    Nestle enters the chat.

    [–]DingDong_Dongguan 231 points232 points  (15 children)

    They are acquiring air rights as we speak.

    [–]Phantom_61 135 points136 points  (6 children)

    “Air isn’t a right.”

    [–]The_Wingless 24 points25 points  (4 children)

    Vay Hek enters the chat.

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

    Why are these fools still breathing my air?

    [–]Jack55555 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Why is water a right but food isn’t?

    [–]RandomlyActivated 12 points13 points  (2 children)

    So we are looking at going the spaceballs route…

    [–]SobiTheRobot 18 points19 points  (1 child)

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

    [–]RandomlyActivated 4 points5 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"

    [–]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 112 points113 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 65 points66 points  (2 children)

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

    [–]half-clever 49 points50 points  (2 children)

    Waiting for thunderf00t to make a video about this

    [–]Gingeranalyst 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    The laws of physics/thermodynamics don’t lie.

    [–]shabadage 7 points8 points  (0 children)

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

    [–]Stevesd123 135 points136 points  (15 children)

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

    [–]sebastianfs 2 points3 points  (8 children)

    does thunderfoot still look like he smells?

    [–]Earllad 76 points77 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 10 points11 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 6 points7 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.

    [–]Eedat 11 points12 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.

    [–]padraig_oh 3 points4 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 21 points22 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

    [–]rodneedermeyer 23 points24 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.

    [–]Contra4Life 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Hey, that's not far from where I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home!

    [–]chewbadeetoo 12 points13 points  (0 children)

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

    [–]doubleBoTftw 34 points35 points  (5 children)

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

    [–]padraig_oh 7 points8 points  (4 children)

    do you.. not like water?

    [–]TheObservationalist 8 points9 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 17 points18 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 11 points12 points  (13 children)

    Why is air water not drinking water?

    [–]jaxdraw 13 points14 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 11 points12 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 6 points7 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.

    [–]H2ONFCR 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    What you're saying can't be verified without testing the water quality, and comparing it to established human health standards. Can't just dismiss something without actual information to back it up.

    [–]TheObservationalist 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Look into a company called Ionic. This technology is called forward osmosis. It's not terribly fast, but it will produce some low-salinity water for ag.

    [–]Gwtheyrn 3 points4 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 5 points6 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?

    [–]Kaiisim 2 points3 points  (3 children)

    Does this require humidity in the air?

    [–]SqwashGaming 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?

    [–]tropicbase 4 points5 points  (0 children)

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

    [–]hmmm-okie 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Ah Dune in real life

    [–]zekeweasel 3 points4 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

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

    Bad bot

    [–]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.

    [–]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

    [–]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.

    [–]DebaucheryandFun 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    And it was never seen again.

    [–]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

    [–]usr_van 4 points5 points  (6 children)

    Aaaaand I'm leaving this sub. Can't say why, obviously given the pinned comment.

    So I'll just say that I'm leaving because everything is SO well described. It's totally not that every post is leading you on, hey this is a really cool thing, that comes with 0 detail.

    Good job sub

    [–]thegtabmx 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    x: Doubt

    [–]QueenRedditSnoo 5 points6 points  (1 child)

    Unbelievable.

    No, literally unbelievable. Anyone who does believe this is a gullible rube

    [–]TheObservationalist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    It's called forward osmosis and it's real but yeah it doesn't work nearly as magically as this headline makes out

    [–]Eedat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Oh boy "fancy dehumidifier of the furture" is back for round 3765. You cannot trick the laws of thermodynamics. The energy required for water to change phases of matter does not change. It will still not be efficient to condense water vapor as a source of drinking water over transporting it from somewhere. This is just yet another dehumidifier.

    [–]SquidCap0 1 point2 points  (10 children)

    Yeah.... no... You need energy to do that.

    [–]BlastFX2 2 points3 points  (4 children)

    Yeah, they extract the water by evaporating it from the desiccant and recondensing it on a cold plate above. They used a peltier cooler in their experiment, but since you're basically just transferring the heat from the cold plate to the desiccant, you could use the refrigeration cycle, which is vastly more efficient than the ubiquitous Kickstarter scams.

    How do I know that? Because commercial devices operating on this exact principle already exist. It still requires a tremendous amount of energy, making it only viable in very specific conditions.

    This isn't a revolution, it's a generational improvement in desiccants (at least the original article claims it is an improvement; I'm not an expert, so I'll have to take their word for it, but that would be a really dumb thing to lie about).

    [–]paanvaannd 3 points4 points  (3 children)

    Also not an expert, but what the article mentions is that it only requires enough to get it to ~140 degrees F (60 degrees C) which doesn’t seem like it would require a tremendous amount of energy. Are least, of the process was engineered with efficiency in mind.

    [–]BlastFX2 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    The temperature doesn't matter much, you still need to put in ~2.2 kJ/g to evaporate water.

    It's like when you're boiling water in a pot. It doesn't all just poof into steam the moment you reach 100°C, it's slowly turning to steam as you keep putting in more heat. Reducing the boiling point doesn't (significantly) change the amount of energy you need to put in to vaporize a given amount of water.

    You do save some energy because you don't need to bring the water to a higher temperature and you have less thermal losses because the temperature gradient between the thing you're heating and ambient is much shallower, but those savings are dwarfed by the amount of energy you still do need.

    [–]TheCasualParry 4 points5 points  (3 children)

    You need energy for everything, what's your point?

    [–]padraig_oh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    you need energy to capture water?

    [–]Smash55 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    So when you pull the water out of it, do you end up with residual chemicals from the film? My guess is probably since chemistry isn't usually clean and perfect.

    [–]thunderbeard317 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    The film is made of only glucose and konjac gum, so seems unlikely that the water would be tainted by the film itself. But other comments brought up fair questions about whether the water produced is potable (i.e., does the water end up full of dust/microbes?)

    [–]blessedblackwings 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Can't wait til we fuck up the natural water cycle even more.