Self Filling Water Bottles

Posted by Chuck Harrell on Jun 25, 2015 11:00:00 AM

six-bottles-of-waterMother nature has spent thousands of years evolving animals and insects to be efficient and now scientists are borrowing the ideas from nature for use in products that can lead more efficient lives.

Previous articles have focused on large scale projects, such as fog nets and water recycling, and how they can be used to bring water to communities without access to regular supplies of fresh water.

Two new innovative technologies which take their inspiration from condensation are beings used to refill water bottles for cyclists.  By creating a rough water-trapping texture with silica nanoparticles in contrasting layers of rough and porous surfaces, water can be attracted to the surface of the bottle at a rate between three liters an hour.   This technology, first reported on the BBC website, seems to have gone quiet with no further information available on the NDB Nano webiste.

However, another idea which gained a lot of attention in 2014, when it was nominated for a James Dyson Award, is the Fontus.  The Fontus collects water from the air and through a condenser.  It collects approximately a half liter an hour.   To ensure the pollutants aren't ingested, the Fontus separates the water molecules from the air particles by a series of perforated walls.  Designer Kristof Retezar said "after more than 30 experiments, I finally achieved a constant drop-flow of one drop of condensed water per minute. After developing a functioning inner system, I designed a compact and practical hull which can be easily attached to a bicycle that integrates the water bottle and can be comfortably handled." More details and photos of the project can be found here.  

Both projects look like they have merits and maybe one day they'll come out of the research labs and into the shops or less fortunate arid areas of the world where water is hard to come by.

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