You can’t squeeze blood from a stone, but you can squeeze water from thin air. The new water harvester is made of metal organic framework crystals pressed into a thin sheet of copper metal and placed between a solar absorber (above) and a condenser plate (below).
The device you see above can produce nearly 3 liters of water per day, and researchers say they can make it work even better. The key to their success is a family of crystalline powders called metal organic frameworks, or MOFs.
MOFs are compounds consisting of metal ions or clusters which form 2D or 3D structures. They are a special type of polymers, often porous. To the naked eye, they would look pretty much like sand.
Omar Yaghi, a chemist at Berkeley, first demonstrated MOFs 20 years ago.