Health, Optimum Water Solutions, Water

New Smart Gel Extracts Drinking Water from the Air

With our world experiencing a water crisis that involves an estimated 790 million people without access to an improved water supply, science is constantly looking for ways to find new sources of clean water. The latest innovation to revolutionize the way we source water involves research from the National University of Singapore which has created a new substance that allows water to be extracted from the air without the need for external power.

What is Smart Aerogel?

So, how exactly does this new technology from researchers at the National University of Singapore work? Well, the substance used to extract water from the air is a smart gel, a solid and lightweight material, that could be used to create drinkable water for those living in environments where it is difficult to access clean water for drinking purposes. When looked at underneath a microscope, this smart aerogel resembles a sponge, but it doesn’t have to be squeezed to release the water that it absorbs from the air. Additionally, it doesn’t need a battery to extract the water.

Continuously gathering water molecules from the air, using this smart aerogel condenses them into a liquid before releasing water. In a humid environment, one kilogram of smart aerogel can produce 17 liters (or about 4.5 gallons) of water in a day. When there is a lot of sunshine, the aerogel can further boost the water release. The smart gel has produced some really impressive results thus far. Overall, 95% of the water vapor that goes into the aerogel comes out as water. Further, in laboratory tests, the aerogel produced water non-stop for months on end. When tested by the World Health Organization, the water produced by the smart gel was found to meet their standards for drinking water.

Professor Ho, one of the researchers involved said, “Given that atmospheric water is continuously replenished by the global hydrological cycle, our invention offers a promising solution for achieving sustainable freshwater production in a variety of climatic conditions, with a minimal energy cost.”

What Does This Technology Mean for the Battle Against the Water Crisis?

According to UNICEF and WHO, 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to clean drinking water. The report reveals that 1.8 billion people have gained access to basic drinking water services since the year 2000, and yet there are still vast inequalities in the accessibility, availability, and quality of these services. In total, it is estimated that 1 in 10 people (roughly 785 million) still lack basic services. With technologies like the smart aerogel being produced, we can only hope that such innovations will soon make an observable impact on the global water crisis. 

Enjoy the Cleanest Water with Optimum!

Now that you know more about one of the important technologies that can work to help solve the water crisis that we expect to make a positive impact, it’s time to talk about another technology that makes access to clean, safe drinking water more convenient than ever: Optimum bottleless water systems.

Optimum Water Solutions systems are eco-friendly, easy to maintain, and cost-effective. Each of our water cooler systems is designed with a positive impact on the environment in mind and, similarly to the mission of the smart gel highlighted above, is focused on providing the cleanest water. If you’d like to see just how much money and negative environmental impact you can save by using one of our water systems, try one FREE for seven days! Check out our selection today to choose the best system for your business. Clearly. Pure. Water.