Research ArticleChemistry

Practical water production from desert air

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Science Advances  08 Jun 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 6, eaat3198
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat3198


Energy-efficient production of water from desert air has not been developed. A proof-of-concept device for harvesting water at low relative humidity was reported; however, it used external cooling and was not desert-tested. We report a laboratory-to-desert experiment where a prototype using up to 1.2 kg of metal-organic framework (MOF)–801 was tested in the laboratory and later in the desert of Arizona, USA. It produced 100 g of water per kilogram of MOF-801 per day-and-night cycle, using only natural cooling and ambient sunlight as a source of energy. We also report an aluminum-based MOF-303, which delivers more than twice the amount of water. The desert experiment uncovered key parameters pertaining to the energy, material, and air requirements for efficient production of water from desert air, even at a subzero dew point.

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