Integrating a super moisture-absorbent gel with light-active materials, researchers in Singapore have developed a humidity digester to dry the ambient air while generating energy. The method, presented November 20 in the journal Joule, is a green alternative to air conditioners with a trick — pulling water out of thin air.
Like plants, artificial photosynthetic devices, also known as photoelectrochemical (PEC) systems, feed on light and water to generate energy. This phenomenon inspired the researchers to integrate light-active materials and super-hygroscopic hydrogels. The hydrogels based on zinc and cobalt can harvest more than four times their weight of water from humid air. The humidity digester can reduce relative humidity by 12 percent and generate a low current under ambient light.Source: EHS Manager