As a solution to the water crisis, wood-to-energy deployed water (WEDEW) is being used to convert agricultural waste into drinkable water.
In an effort to alleviate water scarcity, wood-to-energy deployed water (WEDEW) is being used to convert agricultural waste into water and biochar, reported Forbes.
The technology, which is a collaboration between Skysource and ALL Power Labs, uses local biomass gasification to produce water. The system works by pulling in warmer air from outside of a box and combining it with cold air inside, producing condensation and ultimately creating drinkable water.
WEDEW converts agricultural waste into biochar, humid air and electricity. This process is easier and cheaper than solar. It also eliminates a significant source of greenhouse gases and fertilizers, according to Forbes.
“It’s a carbon-negative technology,” said David Hertz, an architect who helped lead the project to Forbes. “I think the future of technologies is going to be moving to this restorative, regenerative model that actually helps to repair the damage we’ve done.”
The technology is best for small, rural or devastated areas.
WEDEW won the $1.5 million XPrize Water Abundance Competition in 2018. Participants were tasked with creating a system that could extract at least 2,000 liters of water from the air each day using only renewable energy, at a cost of less than two cents per liter.
“Water is a human right,” said Richard Groden, the president of Island Sky in a statement. “There is an abundant, untapped source of clean drinking water in the air around us. Our technology provides a very comprehensive solution to the water crisis that will work as well in the developing world as it will in the technologically advanced areas.”
The system can run on solar and battery power rather than biomass in areas where biomass is less available, however. WEDEW intends to help communities plan for and respond to global climate change by providing energy and water with its self-reliant system, which will work no matter how volatile an environment becomes, reported Skysource.
WEDEW can provide on-demand water and power during emergency events in addition to refrigeration and cooling. The next-generation WEDEW will be even more energy efficient and produce more power and water per day, reported Forbes.
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