In Namib Desert, less than 1.4 cm (.5 inches) of rain fall per year. That tiny amount of water isn’t even enough for a tiny beetle, a Namib Desert inhabitant (insect). So this insect utilizes a ‘special technique’ to capture water from air. And this creativity of beetle has inspired NBD Nano co-founder Deckard Sorensen to create a “self-filling water bottle”. He hopes to bring this self-filling water bottle to the market by 2014.
Usually, every morning beetles in the Namib Desert climbs to the top of sand dunes and face away from the wind. Each beetle then draws 12 percent of its weight to capture the wind that passes over its body. It converts the warm air into water through heat condensation process. Water condenses on hydrophilic areas on the beetle’s back and flows into a storage area inside its body. This process has inspired Deckard Sorensen to create a self-filling water bottle.
Sorenson layered a surface with hydrophilic and hydrophobic coatings. He used a fan to pass air over the surface and surprisingly managed to get water to condense. This breakthrough led him to the design a water bottle that can suck water from air and fill itself automatically.
Sorenson explained, “We use nanotechnology to mimic this beetle’s back so that we too can pull water from the air. We see this being applicable to anything from marathon runners to people in third-world countries, because we realize that water is such a large issue in the world today, and we want to try to alleviate those problems with a cost-efficient solution. We are looking to incorporate this in greenhouses or green roofs in the immediate future, and then later on, we’re looking to see how far we can really scale this up to supply maybe farms or larger agricultural goals.”
Sorenson hinted that this futuristic self-filling water bottle can be attached to vehicles, buildings, or even a running human. No matter to what thing it would be attached with, it would be able to grab all the power it needs to move the air over the specially coated surface.
Sorenson has noted that there is more than three quadrillion gallons of water in the air. No doubt this is a massive untapped resource.
Sorensen hasn’t disclosed anything more. But he has mentioned that he is working “very hard” to bring this self-filling water bottle to the market by 2014.
You will get something more in the audio clip below.