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Getting water from the air by using hydrophilic skin of the Namibian beetle


A most interesting irrigation system for the dry regions of the world, which is based on the principle of the hydrophilic skin of the Namibian beetle, was awarded the James Dyson Award in November 2011. The beetle’s microscopically small skin structure gives it the capability of "extracting" water from the air; the beetle can thus survive in even the driest desert regions. Dewdrops stick to the skin, gather together on the water-absorbing surface and drip off onto the thick chitin shell and run down channels into its mouth. The Australian designer Edward Linacre analysed this phenomenon and transferred the working principle to an irrigation system. Airdrop pumps air through a network of underground pipes to cool it to the point at which the water condenses, thereby extracting the moisture out of the air. The water is then distributed to the plants. According to the calculations of the developer, as much as 11.5 ml water can be extracted from a cubic meter of air even in excessively dry areas. 







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