(617cc) New Materials Technology for Sustainable Removal of Moisture from Air

Authors: 
Hasan, M. M., The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Ferdousi, S. A., The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Yeung, K. L., The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
A new material is developed which is able to efficiently remove and harvest water from air with little or no energy requirement has important local and global implications. Such technology is expected to significantly lower the energy cost of air cooling, reduce greenhouse gas emission and save money. The new material was made by confinement of low water activity materials (LWA) within superhydrophilic matrix that can allow sustained, removal of moisture and harvesting of clean water from air. The low water activity creates a chemical potential gradient for water vapor near the surface of the materials, while the superhydrophilic matrix promotes micro-condensation and wicks excess water before penetrating into the LWA material. Thus, sustained water harvesting can be attained at roughly 0.5kg/kg-1day at 60% relative humidity at 25oC, without the need for refrigeration cooling or heat regeneration. This provides a potential solution to energy demand in space cooling and conditioning.