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Nat Commun. 2018 Mar 22;9(1):1191. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03162-7.

Adsorption-based atmospheric water harvesting device for arid climates.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
2
Department of Chemistry, Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, and Berkeley Global Science Institute, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA.
3
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA.
4
Department of Chemistry, Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, and Berkeley Global Science Institute, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA. yaghi@berkeley.edu.
5
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA. yaghi@berkeley.edu.
6
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Riyadh, 11442, Saudi Arabia. yaghi@berkeley.edu.
7
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA. enwang@mit.edu.

Abstract

Water scarcity is a particularly severe challenge in arid and desert climates. While a substantial amount of water is present in the form of vapour in the atmosphere, harvesting this water by state-of-the-art dewing technology can be extremely energy intensive and impractical, particularly when the relative humidity (RH) is low (i.e., below ~40% RH). In contrast, atmospheric water generators that utilise sorbents enable capture of vapour at low RH conditions and can be driven by the abundant source of solar-thermal energy with higher efficiency. Here, we demonstrate an air-cooled sorbent-based atmospheric water harvesting device using the metal-organic framework (MOF)-801 [Zr6O4(OH)4(fumarate)6] operating in an exceptionally arid climate (10-40% RH) and sub-zero dew points (Tempe, Arizona, USA) with a  thermal efficiency (solar input to water conversion) of ~14%. We predict that this device delivered over 0.25 L of water per kg of MOF for a single daily cycle.

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