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Fog-catching fabrics collect water

May 1st, 2013 / By: / What's New?

Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China, turned a cotton fabric into water-collecting material by coating it with a polymer that changes its microstructure when air temperatures change. The spongy fabric absorbs moisture directly from the air when it is foggy, releasing it as water when the material cools. Every kilogram (two pounds, three ounces) of the fabric produces 7.2 pints of liquid water, and the process is repeatable. This material could be used as a component of free-standing water-collecting devices for deserts and dry mountain regions, and as additives for agricultural soils in drought-prone areas. Work continues on tuning the temperature at which water condenses from the material in hopes of developing it on a commercial scale.