Find Paper, Faster
Example:10.1021/acsami.1c06204 or Chem. Rev., 2007, 107, 2411-2502
Global potential for harvesting drinking water from air using solar energy
Nature  (IF49.962),  Pub Date : 2021-10-27, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03900-w
Jackson Lord, Ashley Thomas, Neil Treat, Matthew Forkin, Robert Bain, Pierre Dulac, Cyrus H. Behroozi, Tilek Mamutov, Jillia Fongheiser, Nicole Kobilansky, Shane Washburn, Claudia Truesdell, Clare Lee, Philipp H. Schmaelzle

Access to safely managed drinking water (SMDW) remains a global challenge, and affects 2.2 billion people1,2. Solar-driven atmospheric water harvesting (AWH) devices with continuous cycling may accelerate progress by enabling decentralized extraction of water from air3,4,5,6, but low specific yields (SY) and low daytime relative humidity (RH) have raised questions about their performance (in litres of water output per day)7,8,9,10,11. However, to our knowledge, no analysis has mapped the global potential of AWH12 despite favourable conditions in tropical regions, where two-thirds of people without SMDW live2. Here we show that AWH could provide SMDW for a billion people. Our assessment—using Google Earth Engine13—introduces a hypothetical 1-metre-square device with a SY profile of 0.2 to 2.5 litres per kilowatt-hour (0.1 to 1.25 litres per kilowatt-hour for a 2-metre-square device) at 30% to 90% RH, respectively. Such a device could meet a target average daily drinking water requirement of 5 litres per day per person14. We plot the impact potential of existing devices and new sorbent classes, which suggests that these targets could be met with continued technological development, and well within thermodynamic limits. Indeed, these performance targets have been achieved experimentally in demonstrations of sorbent materials15,16,17. Our tools can inform design trade-offs for atmospheric water harvesting devices that maximize global impact, alongside ongoing efforts to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with existing technologies.