Developers are saying they have invented a self-filling water bottle that should be on the market in about 2 years. The bottle is capable of pulling water vapor directly from the air and based in part by studying the desert dwelling Namid Beetle.
We’ve all heard of the horror stories of someone being lost in the desert or maybe adrift at sea in a desperate need of water. Now a team calling themselves NBD Nano are saying those days may be over with their new self-filling water collector. The design of the device came about after they studied the exoskeleton of the Namid desert beetle. The insect is capable of condensing water vapor by the small dimples on its outer shell where the water is collected. The insect then angles itself and the water then drains into the insects mouth. The new self-filling water collector has applied the same principles as the Namid Beetle, but it uses a nano-scale surface area with water absorbing (super-hydroscopic) and water repelling (super-hydrophobic) attributes.
Currently the designers of the water collector only have a concept model, but have demonstrated its proven ability to harvest water out of thin air. One of the designers by the name of Miguel Galvez was quoted as saying that the device can harvest as much as one half to 3 liters of water per day.
Currently the team is looking to increase the size of the water collection model and apply its use for water production in green houses. Their website states that some uses for the device would be for dehumidification for households, production of water for those in the military, and pure water for third world regions. As the technology improves it could very well solve a lot of the world’s water shortage problems in farming regions like the U.S. southwest or in parts of the Middle East.
Nano particle technology has begun to take hold in many applications. In 2005, scientists working with MIT came up with the very same concept that NBD Nano describes and saw its use for anti fogging and as a film to prevent dirt buildup. More recently MIT has developed a super-hydrophobic film coating they are calling "LiquiGlide". Currently 'LiquiGlide' is being aimed at food product cotainers and condiment bottles in particular. In an effort to prevent food waste 'LiquiGlide' prevents food from sticking to the interior walls of its container.