Scientists invent technology to extract clean water from sea air

Climate change is a problem that several regions of the world have been grappling with for a number of years. Dry areas are among the most vulnerable because this climate phenomenon makes them even drier. It’s quite an ironic situation knowing that 72% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. The problem is that much of this water is undrinkable since more than 96% of all water on Earth is made up of the oceans. To solve the problems of water scarcity in the world, scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) propose to use the process of natural sea desalination. it is Extraction of water vapor from the sea surface to obtain drinking water fresh.

The natural desalination process

The ocean is a huge potential reservoir of water. However, desalination is a lengthy and expensive process, making it difficult to carry out. There is a process in nature that turns seawater into steam. This happens when the sun warms the sea surface and the water evaporates. This evaporated water later becomes rain.

Graphical representation of a new system that could capture natural water vapor over the ocean to provide drinking water for coastal cities. Photo credit: Praveen Kumar and Nature Scientific Reports

An innovative way of obtaining water

The new study, recently published in the journal scientific reports, offersUse of natural desalination by structures installed several kilometers offshore. The latter are intended to capture the air at the sea surface, which is particularly rich in water vapour. The air is then sent to land and condensed to water using another system. According to the study’s authors, the entire system could be powered by offshore wind farms and onshore solar panels.

The study evaluated 14 cities around the world, including Rome, Los Angeles, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi. Depending on the atmosphere in front of these regions, the amount of water that can be extracted there was particularly investigated. According to the theory A 100 m high and 210 m wide fume hood building is required for the project. According to the models created by the scientists, the system could produce almost 37.6 to 78.3 billion liters of water per year, depending on the conditions in the region. Assuming consumption of 300 liters of water per person per day, two to ten units would be enough to supply an entire city.

A solution to water scarcity

For the UIUC team, the method is very innovative because it essentially works like the natural water cycle. However, instead of turning into a cloud, the water vapor is channeled and directed to where water is scarce. The ocean water vapor harvesting system is highly innovative as it is unlikely to become any less feasible as climate change progresses. According to Afeefa Rahman, co-author of the study, climate projections show that ocean vapor flow will increase again over time, which will provide even more freshwater. According to him, the idea they proposed would be feasible in the context of climate change. It would be an indispensable and effective approach to adapting this phenomenon, especially for populations living in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. More information:

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