VENICE BEACH, Cali. - An amazing new device uses wood chips and biomass to siphon clean and drinkable water out of thin air.
Developed by Skysource/Skywater Alliance, the WEDEW (Wood-to-Energy Deployed Water System) device sits inside a shipping container, creating clouds from outside warm air. Warm air is then filtered and joined with generated cold air inside the container, producing condensation.
Water can then be channeled from the container through a bottle refill station or tap.
WEDEW is capable of producing 900 gallons of water per day and can run for up to 15 years. That's enough water for 100 people every day, say designers.
Atmospheric water is constantly replenishing, and Skysource/Skywater Alliance says the system is unlikely to affect the atmosphere negatively.
Designers chose biomass and wood chips as the fuel source because of their low cost and environmental friendliness.
“It’s a carbon-negative technology,” says David Hertz, a California-based architect who helped lead the project, told FastCompany. “I think the future of technologies is going to be moving to this restorative, regenerative model that actually helps to repair the damage we’ve done.”
The system doesn't have to run on wood waste. In regions of the world where wood is scarce, the device could run on solar and battery power.
WEDEW recently won $1.5 million in the Water Abundance XPrize competition, which asked designers to build a device that could pull 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere, use clean energy, and cost less than 2 cents per liter.
The company plans to use the prize money to deploy units worldwide in partnership with nonprofits.
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