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01/28/2013

Cotton that collects water from fog

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    The idea is to create a special coating for cotton fabric that will allow it to collect water from fogs in the desert.
    An ordinary piece of cotton fabric will be coated with the polymer PNIPAAm. Normally cotton can only absorb about 18 percent of its weight in airborne water droplets, but the addition of the polymer will allow it to increase that amount to 340 percent when at temperatures up to 93ºF. Once the temperature rises, however, the polymer will become hydrophobic and will release the water in a safe-to-consume liquid form.
    The polymer will be used repeatedly and, unlike conventional fog harvesters, will work in completely still conditions.
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