Chemistry in Pictures is accepting entries to its water-themed contest until July 3. Enter today!
Hundreds of millions of people in the world lack access to safe water. Researchers like Rukmava Chatterjee, a PhD student in Sushant Anand’s lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago, want to fix this problem by developing devices like this one, which can harvest water out of the air. This device consists of a cooled silicon surface impregnated with a wax layer that freezes a few degrees above 0 °C. When the surface comes in contact with humid air, the water in the air condenses and transfers heat to the wax layer. That small amount of heat melts the top of the wax layer, producing a hydrophobic liquid that lubricates the surface. The water droplets can then drip down the device and get collected.
Submitted by Rukmava Chatterjee
Do science. Take pictures. Win money. Enter our photo contest here.
Related C&EN Content: