Turning Air into Water

40 percent of the world is dealing with a water shortage. This means that over 2 billion people have to survive in barren and often unsanitary conditions, while everything crumbles around them. Nothing can survive without water. Plants dry up, cattle starve to death, and people succumb to the ailments associated with drinking unsanitary water.

The irony is that water exists all around us. Water droplets shining on leaves in the morning seem to appear out of thin air. This is where companies like EWA Technologies and Air2Water will collect water.

EWA gives a rough estimate of how much water there actually is in our atmosphere: “Air humidity, an unlimited renewable natural resource, is available to all mankind, except in few extreme climatic regions where the temperature is bellow 4oC or extreme arid zone. One cubic kilometer of air contains 10 to 40 tones of life-giving water. Nature continually recharges the atmosphere with humidity by evaporation from the world’s oceans, seas and fresh water bodies.”

Both companies use similar technologies. Air is pulled into a machine where it is condensed into water after passing through a filtration system that removes airborne particles and bacteria. Air2Water also applies UV light to the collected water to ensure that consumers won’t sip up any bacteria or viruses as well.

More than one billion people currently
lack adequate or sufficient drinking water.
(Photo: EWA Technologies Group)

EWA prides itself on using as little energy as possible in the process. By using both residual water and solar heat to power their products, the price of producing water comes to about 5 US cents per cubic meter!

EWA is focused on providing the liquid to nations hit the hardest because of economic hardships and location; like rural villages nowhere near a river and without pipelines.

EWA uses a desiccant material to attract moisture. (Silica Gel and Rice (often found in salt shakers) are examples of desiccant materials that absorb moisture from the air.) The water is then collected through processes involving wind drying, heating and vacuum. EWA has a variety of models, all using the same technology, ranging from devices that produce a few liters to larger machines that pour out a whopping 1000 liters on a daily basis. Combining a few of the larger machines could fill up a swimming pool in no time!

Water has been a topic of debate for decades. WaterAsia is hosting their 9th international conference and exhibition this month, which focuses entirely on the water industry. Companies like EWA and Air2Water are sure to make an appearance alongside representatives of breweries, power stations, oil refineries, fiber plants and countless other companies that depend on water to function. It seems like everyone could benefit from a little more water at their disposal.

One Response to “Turning Air into Water”
  1. Nick Sharp says:

    “One cubic kilometer of air contains 10 to 40 tones of life-giving water.”

    I think you will find the figure is wrong by ~1000.

    The sat vap density of water at eg 30 deg C is 30gm per cu M. So as 1 cu KM=1000,000,000 cu M, a cu KM at RH=100% (sat) and 30 deg C would hold 30,000 tonnes (not ‘tones’ !!).

    Maybe the errors came first from EWA, and secondly by copying them!

    What it means is the opportunities of extracting fresh water from air are HUGE. Good!

    See also on this so-important topic: http://www.waterunlimited.com.au/



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