Drought is one of the biggest issues in human society today. By accident, scientists discovered a possible solution: carbon-rich nanorods (man, carbon’s just good for everything, isn’t it?) that absorb water vapor and ooze it out as a purified liquid. At the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, they observed it after switching to a high-powered microscope, falsely believing another instrument to be malfunctioning.
This new material absorbs the vapor and then spontaneous wrings itself out half way when the humidity reaches higher levels (between 50 and 80% percent). In desert agriculture and dehumidifiers alike, this is extremely useful for many purposes (if you live in a humid place, you can have a self-refilling water bottle). With all the news about water shortages and deadly droughts, this is a great find.
When they release this stuff to the public (when it’s already been used for humanitarian purposes), I’ll be first in line!
Nature Nanotechnology 2016
Photo Credit: “Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.”
It’s an amazing world of science out there…let’s go exploring!