Device Pulls Dozens of Liters of Water from the AirâAlready Being Installed in Jordanian Desert Homes
Entrepreneurs in Jordan have created a sophisticated machine that pulls water from the desert air at a rate that could cure the country’s water woes.
1,000 units of their flagship device have already been pre-ordered by the Jordanian government, and the success of the invention has allowed the innovators to attract dozens of promising scientists who can hopefully expand on their success and bring water resources up to speed in the relatively-stable Near Eastern nation.
Jordan has an interesting contradiction of celebrating the highest academic involvement in the Arab world, but also suffering in one of its least-successful entrepreneurial landscapes and from a problem with water insecurity that ranks among the highest in the world.
Stepping up to address this problem is Aquaporo, a relatively straightforward, air conditioning-sized machine that can harvest 35 liters of water every day in a desert climate of 20% humidity.
Much of Jordan’s population may only have access to 200 cubic meters of water per year, and only 36 hours of tap water per week provisioned by the authorities. The WHO warns these levels can create harm to human health and economic development.
Aquaporo CEO Kyle Cordova and engineering director Husam Almassad got their start at Jordan’s Royal Scientific Society with a group of trainees. Their invention looked a bit like a chest freezer, but now more an A/C unit above a normal water cooler.
Inside, rows of nanomaterials formed into tubes and other shapes act like a sieve that filters water out of the air. The physics behind it are much the same as those found in this Classical Indian architectural feature and takes advantage of air’s tendency to speed up as it moves through a narrow passageway; called the Venturi Effect.
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It leaves behind the heavier water vapor, which condenses, drops into a collection apparatus, and is fed then into a reservoir in a Jordanian home, for example.
Research on the efficacy of Aquaporo’s invention shows it can achieve levels of water purity greater than Nestle brand bottled water, and collects it from the air at double the rate of existing moisture capture technology.
Indeed, humans have been harvesting water from the air for thousands of years. More and more, these old ways of doing things are being utilized in desert areas in developing nations. This company is using fog nets, for example, to harvest the water in low-lying clouds coming off the ocean in southern Morocco.
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“This was a Jordanian invention, made for Jordan. Young people in Jordan have great ideas,” Cordova told Fast Company. “My job is to show that research can make it out of the lab.”
You can watch how the unit works by visiting the Aquaporo website here.
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