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This Solar-Powered Device Could Help Solve the World’s Contaminated Water Crisis

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The device is the size of a single tissue box and can provide the recommended amount of water a person should drink in a day

The global contaminated water crisis is still raging, impacting millions of people in different countries. According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, countries need to efficiently utilize financial resources to meet water and sanitation goals; however, there’s a new device in the works that could help the initiative to make clean drinking water available to everyone.

The device captures water from air in environments with humidity levels as low as 20 percent, which can be beneficial for dry parts of the world struggling to provide a clean water supplies, according to an article published in Science. The device is designed to function off of the sun’s energy and harvest 2.8 liters of drinking water a day.

The design uses a method of water extraction called “dewing,” Evelyn Wang, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of the Science article, told The Washington Post. Through the method, water condensers turn water vapor into liquid, which typically requires a large amount of energy and high level of humidity to work. According to Wang, the new device aims to provide a solution for drier climates with low humidity.

“My vision is really to bring water to households off-grid,” Omar Yaghi, a chemistry professor at the University of California Berkeley and co-author of the paper, said.

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