Accident discovers material which sheds water


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“Our unusual material behaves a bit like a sponge; it wrings itself out halfway before it’s fully saturated with water,” explained PNNL researcher David Lao, who manufactured the material.

They also found that the process is reversible and that the material took on water as humidity in the ambient surroundings decreased. The team was hard-pressed to think of any other material that takes on water at low humidity and expels it at high humidity, but it did seem to validate a process that was theorized as far back as the 1990s.

The findings and their potential future uses are laid out in a paper in the latest issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Possible uses include systems that could literally collect drinking water from thin air in deserts and underserved areas. We can also imagine fabrics that are essentially self-wringing when they get wet by spontaneously releasing liquids into the air as a vapor.

“Our unusual material behaves a bit like a sponge; it wrings itself out halfway before it’s fully saturated with water,” explained PNNL researcher David Lao, who manufactured the material.

They also found that the process is reversible and that the material took on water as humidity in the ambient surroundings decreased. The team was hard-pressed to think of any other material that takes on water at low humidity and expels it at high humidity, but it did seem to validate a process that was theorized as far back as the 1990s.

The findings and their potential future uses are laid out in a paper in the latest issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Possible uses include systems that could literally collect drinking water from thin air in deserts and underserved areas. We can also imagine fabrics that are essentially self-wringing when they get wet by spontaneously releasing liquids into the air as a vapor.

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About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
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