Aqua Sciences Water From Atmospheric Moisture

Aqua Sciencs has developed a fully self-contained mobile freshwater generation system that can produce up to 1,200 gallons of fresh water per day by pulling it from atmospheric moisture.

(Aqua Sciences emergency water station)

Aqua Sciences is now under contract to the Pentagon to provide fresh water to US troops in Iraq. The company's secret technology was developed from original ideas from DARPA.

"The program focused on creating water from the atmosphere using low-energy systems that could reduce the overall logistics burden for deployed forces and provide potable water within the reach of the war fighter any place, any time," said Darpa spokeswoman Jan Walker.

Incredibly, water is currently airlifted to troops using C-17 cargo planes, then trucked the rest of the way. This costs $30 per gallon. Aqua Sciences can supply water for about thirty cents per gallon.

The company refuses to describe the basic principles behind the device, providing only tantalizing clues: think of rice used in saltshakers that acts as a magnet to extract water and keeps salt from clumping.

The problem of finding potable water on our world is taken to extremes by Frank Herbert in his 1965 masterpiece Dune. In the novel, the planet Arrakis has no surface water at all; the natives use remarkable technology to gather moisture. One of the many devices used is the windtrap:

Stilgar stopped at a yellow rock wall. He pressed an outcropping and the wall swung silently away from him, opening along an irregular crack. He led the way through past a dark honey-comb lattice that directed a cool wash of air across Paul when he passed it. "That air felt damp." A man behind them said "Plenty of air in the trap tonight."
(Read more about windtraps)

Using these simple devices, the natives were able to pull millions of decaliters of water from the planet's atmosphere.

These aren't the only efforts to bring Frank Herbert's Dune technovelgy to life:

Read more about Aqua Sciences makes water from air and take a look at the Aqua Sciences website. Thanks to MrX_TLO for the tip and the reference for this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/6/2006)

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