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New Cotton Fabric Absorbs 340% of Its Weight in Water

Water Droplets 300x225 New Cotton Fabric Absorbs 340% of Its Weight in Water A revolutionary new treatment for cotton fabric may strengthen water collection efforts from mist or fog in in desert regions. This inexpensive treatment allows cotton to absorb up to 340% of its weight in water and releases the water just as easily.

In very arid regions, mist or fog harvesters are often used to collect water, but these require strong air flow to operate effectively. The new fabric treatment alleviates the need for wind and is overall more efficient.

In the journal article Advanced Materials: Temperature-Triggered Collection and Release of Water from Fogs by a Sponge-Like Cotton Fabric, researchers at both Eindhoven University of Technology and Hong Kong Polytechnic University detail their discovery that when a coating of a polymer is applied to cotton fabric the cotton is able to absorb massive quantities of water. This polymer also allows water to be extracted very easily from the fabric, making water collection very simple.

The cotton fabric is inexpensive and easy to produce locally and the polymer used for the treatment is also inexpensive, making this a viable solution for harvesting atmospheric water vapor in arid regions.

Ultimately, the fabric treatment may make its way into the mainstream to be used in outdoor or athletic gear.


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About the author

Leigh is a Senior Technical Communicator working in the energy sector in Dallas, Texas. Prior to her work in the energy industry, Leigh spent years specializing in life saving engineering projects for the US Department of Defense. In her spare time, Leigh pursues her passions of environmental awareness, vegan baking, dog rescue, and defending the place of art, literature, and music in a world that values science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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