Hydrogel uses sunlight to harvest fresh water from the sea

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The research team (led by Tan Swee Ching, at right) with samples of the hydrogel

In many arid coastal regions, a great quantity of valuable fresh water is lost into the atmosphere every day, as it evaporates from the surface of the ocean. This situation prompted scientists to create a new hydrogel that’s highly effective at capturing moisture from the sea air, and then releasing it as fresh water.

Developed by a team at the National University of Singapore, the zinc-based material is claimed to be over eight times more absorbent than existing drying agents such as silica gel and calcium chloride – it can absorb more than four times its dry weight in water. Additionally, unlike the case with traditional drying agents, no electricity is required to get that water back out of it, plus the gel can be reused over 1,000 times.

Continue reading… “Hydrogel uses sunlight to harvest fresh water from the sea”

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A ‘human swarm’ has figured out where Jeff Bezos should donate his money

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Jeff Bezos tweeted in June that he wanted short-term, high-impact ways to do social good.

An artificial intelligence platform put 46,000 suggestions to a vote, using a method inspired by how bees swarm.

Universal access to clean drinking water was the winner.

 

Continue reading… “A ‘human swarm’ has figured out where Jeff Bezos should donate his money”

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