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Scientist Builds Self-Filling Water Bottle

Sorensen was reportedly intrigued by a very specific capability of the Namib Desert beetle that can extract water from air. The beetle's problem is that his living environment gets only half an inch of rainfall per year, but solved this challenge by using a hydrophilic coating, a surface with strong affinity to water, on his back to attract water, and a hydrophobic surface, a material that repels water, to store water. The mechanism is effective enough to provide the beetle with 12 percent of his water supply from air.

Sorensen apparently rebuilt this idea with a hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface to create a self-filling water bottle. The water source was create with a fan that was powered by a solar-charged battery. There was no information how long it takes to fill the entire bottle with water, but Sorensen told PRI that there are "more than three quadrillion gallons of water in the air." The entrepreneur considers any environment with moving air as a potential business opportunity.

"We actually see the maritime environment as really a very large market for us because humidity is actually constantly regenerated over a large body of water," Sorenson said. "Then we can pull that humidity from the air to support people who possibly take long trips on yachts, or provide a sort of potable water source that can be run off a solar panel while at sea."


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