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Water in desert: Limerick aims to solve global crisis

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Professor Michael Zaworotko. Photo: Sean Curtin

Professor Michael Zaworotko. Photo: Sean Curtin

Picture: Sean Curtin

Professor Michael Zaworotko. Photo: Sean Curtin

The University of Limerick is claiming it may have solved the world's water crisis - by easily producing water from air.

It said that a revolutionary new material developed at UL can produce water even in deserts and remote locations.

Professor Michael Zaworotko, a research professor at UL's Bernal Institute, has developed the material after decades of research.

It has been developed as a commercially viable nanomaterial by Molecule RND LTD, an international think tank, research group and incubator fund that has located in UL to work with Prof Zaworotko.

"Silica has been used for a long time as a desiccant to pull water from the atmosphere, but it is not very efficient," he said. "If we replaced silica with this crystalline material, it would require substantially less energy to maintain air quality in buildings."

The material could also capture water from the atmosphere in arid regions, he said. "In zones of very low humidity on Earth, even in deserts, there is still some water in the atmosphere. This material could be applied to capture the water from the air, meaning you could potentially grow crops there.

"Without water, there is no life, no Plan B. About one third of the world's population does not have access to pure water and this technology helps to solve that problem."

Irish Independent