Generating water from air


Air water generation (AWG) is a technology that extracts water molecules from the relative humidity in the atmosphere, passes the condensed water vapor through a filter to produce a drinkable source of water. This type of technology is most beneficial in environments that do not produce large amounts of drinkable water such as arid climates or those regions experiencing drought conditions. This technology eliminates the need to process water from the ground and instead taps the humidity in the air as a viable source of drinking water. There is significant energy cost in the current models of AWG machines available for purchase. These energy costs drive up the monetary amount to produce potable water in large quantities, while also keeping the unit large and non-portable.

Technology description

A researcher at The University of Texas at Austin has developed a new process that utilizes nanotechnology to dramatically increase the efficiency of Air Water Generation machines. This technology advancement is projected to produce the same amount of water at the fraction of the energy and monetary cost as current competitors. While AWG is not a new idea, the researcher believes the nanotechnology will be a “game-changer” that could apply the fundamental principles of Moore’s Law of lower cost, smaller size, with greater outputs, resulting in being able to produce a liter of water for around ten cents.

Potential advantages

  • The use of nanotechnology may be able to produce 1000 L (264 gallons) of water at a cost of $100.
  • Use of a specific nanofilter may be able to increase water extraction efficiency, while lowering the energy cost for the conversion of humidity into potable water.
  • Being able to convert humidity into potable drinking water in almost every environment allows potential users to travel off the grid without worrying about carrying the recommended FEMA water supplies of one gallon per person for up to three days, with more in humid or hot weather climates.