Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Extracting water from air

Israeli scientists have developed a means of turning water vapor into high quality drinking water for regions in dire need of this natural yet often rare resource.
Extracting water from air
While access to safe drinking water may often be taken for granted, it is not a given in many parts of the world, particularly arid regions. Lack of this valuable resource can cause discomfort, disease and even death in extreme cases.

A number of different technologies, such as desalinisation, have been implemented over the years with varying success. Recently, an SME in Israel managed to overcome longstanding obstacles associated with the process of extracting water from air (EWA).

Whereas previous attempts at EWA were limited by the ambient temperature and humidity, the new technology guarantees performance even at very low temperatures and relative humidities. A full range of models has been designed ranging from smaller home units producing just 50 liters per day to industrial-size units capable of generating one million liters per day. The resulting water is of a very high quality.

A special feature allows the units to be powered by renewable energy sources (RES) like solar energy. This will be extremely valuable in places that, in addition to lacking a clean water supply, lack a permanent power supply. In general, the infrastructure costs are very low in comparison to other technologies like desalinisation. This also contributes to the portability of the system.

Another advantage is that it does not rely on purifying existing water resources (e.g., seawater) and consequently there are no waste products. Hence, the process is environmentally-friendly, especially when powered by RES. Furthermore, extensive training is not required to operate the system and it can be easily distributed to and implemented in remote regions.

The Israeli firm is looking to take its scalable line of prototypes to the market where the technology, in addition to all the aforementioned technical benefits, will be very competitive.
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