Harvesting Drinking Water from the Air with a Solar-Powered, Self-Filling Water Bottle

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

Austrian designer Kristof Retezar has invented a new device for your bike that collects the moisture contained in the atmosphere, condenses it, and stores it as fresh drinking water.

Powered by solar cells, it can harvest up to a half liter of water (approximately 16 ounces) in a hour´s time under the right climatic conditions.

This new device, called the Fontus, can be applied in two ways: First, as a sporty bicycle accessory, useful on long bike tours, instead of the constant search for good water. Secondly, as a clever way of acquiring water in regions of the world where fresh water is scarce but air humidity is high.

Retezar says he was inspired to invent the device as something that could be beneficial to some of the two billion people in more than forty countries where clean and safe sources of water are scarce. The UN predicts that by the year 2030 47 percent of our global population will be living in areas of high water stress. So Retezar decided to take a 2,000-year-old technology—ancient civilizations from Asia and Central America employed it—to tap into the vast amounts of fresh water in the Earth’s atmosphere.  His device cools hot, humid air to create and collection condensation.

Water scarcity may be the most underestimated resource issue facing the world today. Fontus is one of many devices and measures that can help ease this emerging crisis.

Source:  Bec Crew, “New Self-filling Water Bottle Harvests Drinking Water from the Air,” ScienceAlert, November 19, 2014, http://www.sciencealert.com/new-self-filling-water-bottle-harvests-drinking-water-from-the-air.

Student Researcher: Tristen Rowean (San Francisco State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)