Could this bottle provide billions of people access to clean water?


Could this little bottle prove to be the saviour of billions of people without access to clean water?

An Austrian start-up has revealed plans to start selling a self-filling water bottle that extracts humidity from the air and condenses it into drinkable water at a rate of up to 0.5 litres per hour – provided it’s a really humid day.

This is the Fontus, a solar-powered container that can turn thin air into water.

It works by collecting humidity in the air and converting it into liquid through the simple process of condensation.

It does so by connecting a condensator to a series of hyrdrophobic surfaces, which repel the water and drip feed the fluid into the bottle.

It can currently produce 0.5 litres of water in an hour in temperatures between 86 and 104 degrees fahrenheit.

Developed by the team at Fontus, the solar-powered device means so as long as the air around you isn’t too polluted, you’ll have access have a constant supply of clean drinking water.

The water bottle comes from Austrian industrial designer Kristof Retezár, who wanted to make a simple, portable tool to help people where drinkable water isn’t easy to get. 

Engineers have long hoped to help water-scarce regions by achieving this goal. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs reports that 1.2 billion people, around a fifth of the world’s population, live in areas where water is physically scarce. Another 1.6 live in countries where water infrastructure and storage is lacking. 

“You always have a certain percentage of humidity in the air, it doesn’t matter where you are—even in the desert,” Retezár tells Denise Chow at Livescience. “That means you would always potentially be able to extract that humidity from the air.”

The developers have also mentioned the possibility of adding a carbon filter to the mix, which could be used to filter out clean water from more polluted areas.


Video Credit: INSIDER