menu

Specially Treated Cotton Can Harvest Water From Fog

Specially Treated Cotton Can Harvest Water From Fog
Innovation

The cotton is coated with a polymer known as PNIPAAm, which allows it to absorb 340% of its weight in fog droplets.

Emma Hutchings
  • 23 january 2013

‘Fog harvesting’ for water isn’t a new technique. People use netting to capture fog droplets, which are then collected in a container. The process is hardly efficient, but thanks to a special treatment for cotton, it may become a viable solution for obtaining water in desert regions.

Researchers from the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have developed a coating that allows the cotton to absorb high amounts of water from misty air. The cotton is treated with a polymer known as PNIPAAm, which allows it to absorb 340% of its weight, compared to only 18% without the coating. It has a sponge-like structure at temperatures up to 34°c and is highly hydrophilic.

As it gets warmer, the cotton releases the collected water by itself as it becomes hydrophobic (water-repellant). The research has shown that this cycle can be repeated many times.

Specially Treated Cotton Can Harvest Water From Fog

The inspiration for this new coated cotton comes from nature, as there are certain beetles and spiders that can capture water droplets on their bodies or webs. According to the researchers, the cotton fabric is cheap and easily produced and the polymer is also inexpensive. Applications could include cotton fibers laid on cultivated soil to provide water directly, camping tents that collect water at night, and sportswear that keeps athletes dry when sweating.

The team now plans to optimize the quality of the coated cotton, increase the amount of water that can be absorbed, and lower the temperature at which it changes from its absorbing to its releasing state.

Eindhoven University of Technology

 

Innovation
Trending

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Design & Architecture
Culture Yesterday

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Yesterday

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Related Expert

Clay Shirky

Creativity, Itp, Nyu, Tech, Education

Syndicated Yesterday

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Yesterday

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Yesterday

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 27, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs september 29, 2016

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Yesterday

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Yesterday

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Yesterday

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Yesterday

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Mobile Yesterday

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Yesterday

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Yesterday

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.