Water harvest via dewing

Langmuir. 2012 Jul 10;28(27):10183-91. doi: 10.1021/la3013987. Epub 2012 Jun 25.


Harvesting water from humid air via dewing can provide a viable solution to a water shortage problem where liquid-phase water is not available. Here we experimentally quantify the effects of wettability and geometry of the condensation substrate on the water harvest efficiency. Uniformly hydrophilic surfaces are found to exhibit higher rates of water condensation and collection than surfaces with lower wettability. This is in contrast to a fog basking method where the most efficient surface consists of hydrophilic islands surrounded by hydrophobic background. A thin drainage path in the lower portion of the condensation substrate is revealed to greatly enhance the water collection efficiency. The optimal surface conditions found in this work can be used to design a practical device that harvests water as its biological counterpart, a green tree frog, Litoria caerulea , does during the dry season in tropical northern Australia.