Water from Air Without Adding Energy

water from air
a) Schematic of day-night water cycles of the ‘Sponsh’ and b) Proof of principle for the temperature-responsive polymer coated textile.

The NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences has granted a Take-off grant for the valorization of a temperature-sensitive smart textile that obtains water from air, as developed by dr. Catarina Estevesand her team at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Water is the most important condition for life. According to a recent study by the United Nations, drought worldwide will increase significantly due to climate change. In 2050, half of the world’s population will experience water shortages. By looking at how nature survives in dry coastal areas, researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology have developed a temperature-sensitive smart textile. At low temperatures, the textile is super-hydrophilic and absorbs large amounts of water from air. At high temperatures, the material becomes super-hydrophobic and crushes out the water. The fibers then contract and the material behaves like a sponge that is squeezed out. The first results show that one m2 absorbs and releases up to 1.3 liters per day. TU/e spin-off Sponsh Water Systems will scale up this material, so it can be a cheap, off-grid, energy-free source of water for arid coastal areas.

About Take-off
Take-off focuses on facilitating and encouraging commercial and entrepreneurial activities initiated at Dutch universities and the research institutes recognized by NWO. It concerns the creation of innovative new commercial activities that emerge from knowledge development and utilization by academic entrepreneurs.

Source : Eindhoven University of Technology