A new kind of material has been developed that filters air to extract water with little or no additional energy required. The material is a crystal (a metal-organic-framework crystal) that has large pores resulting in a large internal surface area. One cubic centimeter of the material has the equivalent surface area as a football field. One kilogram of the material (this part isn’t free) can extract 2.8 liters of water per day, more than enough for basic human functions. The technology is particularly appealing for any place where clean water is difficult to attain: disasters, deserts, undeveloped areas, heavily polluted areas. An additional benefit is accessing a source of fresh water that doesn’t drain aquifers, rivers, or lakes. As efficiency and acceptance improve, costs will fall and the number of people who can benefit will rise.

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