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Harvesting water from air using adsorption material – Prototype and experimental results

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journal contribution
submitted on 2023-10-01, 06:31 and posted on 2023-10-01, 10:09 authored by Ahmad K. Sleiti, Hamza Al-Khawaja, Hassan Al-Khawaja, Mohammed Al-Ali

Drinking water resources have always been limited in the gulf region of the Middle East and other desert regions around the world. In attempt to provide viable supplement, a device that harvests clean drinking water from air is designed, built and tested. The operation of the device is based on harvesting water naturally from air using adsorption materials. The prototype of this device consists of sorbent (silica gel is used in this study) exposed to radiant flux, water sorbent unit, condenser and reflector. Experimental studies of production of fresh water from air in controlled indoor environment have been carried out using the prototype. Several experimental tests were conducted under the conditions of 22 °C ambient temperature, a range of relative humidity (RH) from 30 to 60%, a range of silica gel thickness from 25 to 35 mm, surface area to volume ratio from 0.29 to 0.4 and radiant heat flux range from 509 to 556 W/m2. The prototype was able to produce up to 159 g of water per 1 kg of silica gel in a 12 h cycle when exposed to 556 W/m2 radiant flux. In terms of per one day (24 h), the harvester can produce 800 mL of water with an overall efficiency of 50% for 25 mm silica layer thickness. Increasing the relative humidity speeds up the adsorption cycle and increases the water capture, release and collection rates. The system can be improved by adding multiple layers of sorbent stacked on top of each other and by using sorbents with improved adsorption and desorption properties.

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Published in: Separation and Purification Technology
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library



  • English


Elsevier BV

Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Engineering - QU

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