Extracting Water From Thin Air

Even scorching desert landscapes have water molecules floating in the atmosphere. Until now, the technology required to extract them has required vast amounts of energy. But a scientific duo from MIT and UC, Berkeley has just prototyped a new machine employing an MOF, or metal-organic framework. Here, a thin MOF powder layer absorbs water vapor—and ambient sunlight then releases it into a basin within the device. The prototype used was quite small but one of the two scientists, Evelyn Wang, says a full-sized system could pull almost three quarts of water each day—quite literally extracting the liquid from thin air.