Harvesting Atmospheric Water

(1) Dos Pueblos High School

Global water shortages and droughts have become more common and severe. One solution to address this shortage is the collection and use of atmospheric water, as it is sustainable, clean, and renewable. The objective of this project was to test various materials to determine which ones collect the most atmospheric water when exposed to the same environmental factors. The experiment observed the effect of weather conditions, a material’s surface area and hydrophilicity on atmospheric water collection. The initial hypothesis was that hydrophobic materials with the greatest surface area would collect the most water. The materials were placed in the same outside location each night for twelve trials. The following day the materials were weighed to see how much water each had collected. On average, ribbed plastic collected 10.8 mL of water per trial, which was over 20% more than any other material. This result partially supported the hypothesis because although hydrophobic materials collected more water, surface area did not have a significant effect on water collection. These experiment results can be used to better understand how to maximize collection of water in drought or water insecure environments.

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