Feature

This panel creates drinking water from sunlight and air

Science!

Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is a panel that creates drinking water from sunlight and air.

An Arizona State University professor last week won the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT prize for inventing "a hydropanel that extracts drinking water from sunlight and air," said Hayley Ringle at the Phoenix Business Journal. Cody Friesen, a professor of materials science and engineering, founded Zero Mass Water in 2015 as a way to "provide clean drinking water in communities, refugee camps, government offices, hotels, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and homes around the world."

His patented device uses powerful desiccants that can soak up drinkable water from air with humidity as low as 5 percent, with no external electricity required. It’s being employed in 33 countries after raising $25 million in venture capital funding last October. Now Friesen can add "the largest cash prize for U.S. inventions" to the bank.

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