Thanks to Time Magazine journalist ALEJANDRO DE LA GARZA for immersing himself into “the world of Atoco,” and taking part in our launch from stealth.
“Back in 2014, Omar Yaghi, a chemistry professor at the University of California, noticed something unusual about a new water-absorbing material his lab was developing.
Pulling water out of the air is useful for a lot of things (think about the silica beads that come in packaging to keep things dry) but drying out desiccants in order to reuse them generally means heating them to very high temperatures, often around 400°F, which uses a lot of energy.
But Yaghi’s material, an atomic-scale lattice work replete with billions of tiny pores, known as a metal-organic framework (MOF), was giving up its water at a much lower temperature, around 113°F, equivalent to that of a tepid cup of coffee. “I immediately thought I could take this into the desert, and at night it extracts the water from the air,” Yaghi says. “During the day when it’s hot and sunny I can harvest the drinking water (…)”