The need for water is important in many parts of the world without the infrastructure to provide safe drinking water. There are many personal technologies that can be used water purification or water gathering. While the idea of a self-filling water bottle may at first sound like magic, it's based on nanotechnology and biomimicry.
NBD Nano is named for the Namib Desert Beetle, whose shell functions to collect water for the insect, and which served as the inspiration for the technology. The technique behind this uses hydrophilic (water retaining) and hydrophobic (water repelling) coatings to concentrate moisture in the air onto the hydrophilic surfaces, and then, as the droplets become big enough, the water runs into a central collector. A small fan is used to move air over the surface to improve collection.
The company is pursuing a variety of possible applications for the technique. While it is not yet a commercial product, this offers a possibility of making water scarcity less of a problem in an increasingly water-dependent world.
image: Public Domain by Moongateclimber/Wikimedia Commons
written by Dale H, January 15, 2013
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