Archive for 30 de noviembre de 2012


Científicos de la Universidad Rice desarrollaron una nueva tecnología que utiliza nanopartículas para producir vapor en forma más efectiva sin que ningún líquido necesite alcanzar el punto de ebullición. Los investigadores dicen que su método, conocido como vapor solar, es tan eficiente que puede crear vapor a partir del agua congelada y es ideal para…


30 de noviembre de 2012 at 13:16 Deja un comentario

Nueva Botella de agua Inspirada en el concepto del escarabajo de Namibia, genera y almacena agua de la humedad ambiental.


Posted By  On Nov 30, 2012 In Water In AmericaWater Technology & Innovation

bottled waterThere’s been a lot of Internet buzz about a United States startup company designing a novel, self-filling water bottle.

This design, by NDBNano, is inspired by an African desert beetle known as the Namib beetle, which survives in the arid region through its ability to capture and store moisture from the air by condensing moisture on its back.

NBDNano’s Deckard Sorensen is creating the prototype bottle, which is able to collect air from the surrounding atmosphere using a fan attached to the bottle. The fan insures that air will pass over the surface of the bottle, which is coated with materials that both attract and repel water. The water condenses, then is stored in the bottle.

These types of nature-inspired technologies are typically referred to as bio-inspired or bio-mimetic. Items from robots to various materials have been created based on a wide variety of characteristics found in nature. This includes animal or insect locomotion, or properties such as the lotus leaf’s ability to repel water, or the stickiness of a gecko’s foot, even the structure of an animal’s eye.

Onymacris unguicularis in Namib DesertThe naturally occurring properties of this particular insect that are of most interest to the designers involve how the surface of the beetle’s body interacts with water. These properties are known as superhydrophobic — water-repelling — and superhydrophilic — water-attracting.

The Namib beetle collects condensation on its hard wings. The tip of its shell is covered in tiny, water-attracting bumps; however, the sides of its shell repell water. Water collected from the environment accumulates on its back. When sufficient water is present, it runs straight to the beetle’s mouth.

A prototype bottle has been tested. Properly designed, such a bottle could collect from half a liter to as many as three liters of water per hour, states NBDNano. The performance of the bottle does depend on the local environment.

Miguel Galvez, the company’s co-founder, told the BBC:

Dry places like the Atacama Desert or Gobi Desert don’t have access to a lot of sources of water. So if we’re creating [several] litres per day in a cost-effective manner, you can get this to a community of people in Sub-Saharan Africa and other dry regions of the world. And if you can do it cheaply enough, then you can really create an impact on the local environment.

The World Health Organization estimates about one in two people reside in areas where water is scarce. This is about three million people.

The Namib beetle, according to Wired UK, served as the bio-inspiration for the Airdrop. This irrigation system, which works by pumping and then cooling air passing through underground pipes to create condensation at plant roots, was developed by Edward Linacre and has won the 2011 James Dyson Award, an international student design contest administered by the James Dyson Foundation.

This water harvesting technology, although energy-efficient, could not satisfy a single community’s water needs, Erik Harvey from WaterAid told the BBC. He said:

Even in water-scarce areas, communities need more water than what they would consume for themselves — livestock and agriculture in arid environments are very important. […] There is a range of viable markets for [these types of water bottles], like the military or the outdoors market, people going camping, and the advantage that they may have is a much lower energy input device.

“Fabricating a physical catalyst that manipulates water on a molecular level and materializes it in bulk before our eyes would be impressive,” opined ExtremeTech. “In actuality, waiting to slake your thirst with such a bottle would probably be more like waiting for seedlings planted at home to grow into a hedge.”

NBDNano is a startup company created in May 2012 by four recent university graduates, some of whom have backgrounds in materials science and chemical engineering. It is focusing its efforts on creating water harvesting technologies that could include improved home dehumidifying units, military equipment for producing potable water in the field, greenhouse watering systems, and solutions for producing potable water in developing nations.

NBDNano is still working on the prototype’s design and seeking funding for the bio-inspired water bottle. On its website, the company clearly states that the bottle remains “a conceptual design that one day could be feasible, although it could be years away.”

30 de noviembre de 2012 at 13:06 Deja un comentario

noviembre 2012