My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How MIT MOF makes Moisture Farms for use in Space Travel possible

Sunday, March 25, 2018

How MIT MOF makes Moisture Farms for use in Space Travel possible

“The advancement we have achieved over our proof-of-concept demonstration last year is the testing of a small-scale prototype in desert conditions where we believe absorption-based water harvesting systems are most practical. In addition, we have made several design improvements which enabled operation at greatly improved efficiencies.

Sameer Rao, a post-doctoral research associate who worked on the project in an interview with Digital Trends.

MIT is at it again!!! This time they've developed the technology that makes the Moisture farms on Tatooine from Star Wars seem possible.

They've basically developed a MOF (metal-organic framework) that attract water molecules and condenses it as vapour as explained in the article “MIT’s latest invention pulls clean drinking water out of thin air”, published 23 March 2018 by Luke Dormehl, Digitaltrends.

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First a quick reminder of what a Moisture farm is and what life is on an automated farm run by droids.

The MOF is technology that MIT has developed will make it possible to extract water from the driest desert, making it survivable, if not habitable. The MIT Team consists of the following notables:

1.      MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering Evelyn Wang
2.      MIT postdoc  Sameer Rao
3.      Graduate student Hyunho Kim
4.      Research scientist Sungwoo Yang
5.      Research scientist Shankar Narayanan who is currently at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and alumnus Ari Umans SM ’15

The team reported their findings in the journal Science in a article that was co-authored by Berkeley graduate student Eugene Kapustin, project scientist Hiroyasu Furukawa, and professor of chemistry Omar Yaghi as noted in the article “Water, water everywhere … even in the air”, published April 14, 2017 by David Chandler, MIT News Office.

The MIT's team has been testing their tech in the dry air of Tempe, Arizona to provide more evidence that it truly can extract water from even the driest air.

So how does the MOF work to extract moisture from the air?

MIT and MOF Moisture Farming – Space Colonization Now within grasp

Indeed, harvesting water from the air is nothing new.

Fog harvesting is already done in Chile and Morocco but requires very moist air, with a relative humidity of 100 percent as this video explains.

Fog harvesting works in very limited regions. The alternative, which is to chill the air to its dew point, is called Dew Harvesting.

This is basically a refrigerator turned inside out and is energy intensive, as power has to be expended to keep the condenser plate cool. Worse, it need humidity levels as high as 50% to generate any significant amount of water and as such, is best done at night where the cooling equiptment can operate more efficiently as this video explains.

There are also “air wells” that are designed with special hydrophobic material that require no energy to collect water.

The MOF Method has none of these limitations and is completely passive as this video explains.

The researchers believe that a scaled-up version of their miniature MOF extraction system could output more than a quarter-liter of water per day per kilogram of MOF as predicted by Sameer Rao, a post-doctoral research associate who worked on the project, quote: “…By careful design and optimization, we developed a device which is well suited for operation in arid conditions and under negative dew points in which competing commercially mature technologies such as refrigeration-based dewing cycles are infeasible.”

Still, its cost might make it impractical for all but the driest of places on earth. But its application for Space Travel seems more feasible, making colonizing the solar system and the Asteroid belt possible.

Combined with extracting water from Urine as explained in my blog article entitled “University of Ghent Solar Powered Urine to Beer Converter can end African Water Crisis” it could be use to extract water from the living habitats to be set up on the Moon and Mars, making the recycling of water for drinking purposes possible.

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