These Scientists Are Using Water From The Air To Irrigate Plants — And Their Invention Could Combat Drought, Too
Singapore, April 2021
Water is stored all around us, hanging as vapor in the air -- what if we could channel it towards the irrigation of plants? Scientists at the National University of Singapore are hoping to do just that. They’ve developed an experimental device that transforms atmospheric humidity into water for irrigation.
The ‘SmartFarm’ is a solar-powered, automated device composed of a transparent acrylic box, housing vegetable plants growing in soil at the bottom. Most importantly, it contains a copper-based hydrogel that absorbs air moisture at night, when humidity is higher, and releases it when exposed to sunlight
And this invention could do more than just irrigate plants in parts of the world with little to no precipitation, it could help deliver drinking water where there’s a shortage, too, as the water it expels meets WHO standards.
After building their successful model, the team is now looking into scaling it up for bigger picture applications, like multi-tiered, produce-growing urban rooftops constructions.