Remember Ooho!, the ingenious seaweed-based water bottle that is in fact entirely edible? Equally innovative perhaps, is the so-called “self-filling water bottle” that is currently being developed by Austrian company Fontus. As its name clearly suggests, the contraption is designed to extract water vapor from the atmosphere, converting into clean, drinking water at the rate of about 0.5 liters per hour. While its efficiency depends greatly on the humidity in the air, the bottle could prove helpful for cyclists, hikers or just about anyone with inadequate access to safe, drinkable water.
One of the finalists for the 2014 Dyson award, the design boasts an array of impressive eco-friendly and energy-saving credentials. Running on solar power, the device features special hydrophobic surfaces that in turn channel the condensed water droplets into the bottle. According to the developers, it ensures an uninterrupted supply of clean, drinking water, so long as the air from which the water vapor is harvested is not too polluted. Speaking about the project, Retezár Kristof, the founder of Fontus, said:
This is simply condensation of the humidity that is contained in the air. You always have a certain percentage of humidity in the air, it doesn’t matter where you are – even in the desert. That means you would always potentially be able to extract that humidity from the air.
The bottle contains a specially-designed solar panel, a built-in condensing chamber with hydrophobic walls and a simple filter that removes dirt, dust and other unwanted substances from the collected solution. As the developers have pointed out, the device works by trapping warm, humid air, from which water vapor is extracted. Following this, the water condenses into tiny droplets that flow into the storage section below, thanks to the hydrophobic surfaces that prevent absorption. Kristof added:
Because they’re hydrophobic, they immediately repel the condensed water that they created, so you get a drop flow [into the bottle].Basically, you’re taking air in a vapour state and converting it into a liquid state.
The company, which was recently awarded funding from the Austrian government for the product’s development, will likely launch a crowdfunding campaign this March. Once developed, the smart self-filling bottle will be available in two different models: the ‘Ryde’ and the ‘Airo’. The former, according to the designers, will cater specifically to cyclists. In addition to long-distance bikers and hikers, the invention could benefit the 1.2 billion people currently living in water-scarce areas across the world. The developers might also incorporate a carbon filter into the design, in an attempt to make the product more effective. The team said:
The idea was to solve a global problem: water issues in areas of the world where there is very little groundwater but very high humidity. My intent was to invent a machine or device that would be able to filter the humidity in the air and turn it into drinkable water.
While its exact fill-rate is yet to be verified, the contraption, the developers claim, is capable of producing safe, drinking water at an impressive rate of around 0.5 liters per hour, provided the air temperature is somewhere between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius (or 86 degrees to 104 degrees Fahrenheit) and the humidity is at the 80 to 90-percent mark. Validation tests are currently underway, with the company actually planning to release third-party test results sometime in the future.
To know more about the product, visit Fontus’ official website.
Via: Live Science