Imagine a sponge-like material that can absorb water vapour from humid air and release when it is full.
When an experiment went wrong at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, it led to the discovery of a new technology. These ‘water-oozing’ nanorods show a strange water expulsion property – something that was only present in theory so far. The process has now been recorded on video.
The nanorods absorb water vapour during times of low humidity and expel it when humidity is high, unlike most materials which absorb more water vapour when humidity is high. According to David Lao, post-doc research associate at the lab, “Our unusual material behaves a bit like a sponge.” He goes on to add “It wrings itself out halfway before it’s fully saturated with water.”
This immersive material, if implemented, can help in tackling water shortage crisis in many regions, particularly in deserts. This material can also be used to create sweat-wicking wearable fabrics.