The Fontus: The Water Bottle That Refills Itself From The Air We Breathe
Imagine you’re stuck in the wilderness, you’re running out of food, and your water is down to the last drops. Water is the most precious resource on Earth. It keeps everyone on this planet alive, and if it all disappeared, the human race would be extinct. But, on a more realistic note: doesn’t it get annoying when you’re working out for a long time and you have to keep going back and filling up your water bottle? Wouldn’t it be easier if the water bottle could fill itself up? Future time! A new water bottle called the The Fontus can convert humidity into drinkable water.
Kristof Retezár, a desginer that’s based in Vienna, has invented a water bottle that can use the humidity in the air and convert it to drinkable water. I know what you’re thinking already about a typical humidifier that does the exact same thing, but that water is undrinkable. This water bottle is not only drinkable, but its technology is just flat-out cool.
What the Fontus does is uses the principle of condensation, which is the droplets of water that accumulates on the sides of your cold drink after a few minutes.
“This is simply condensation of the humidity that is contained in the air,” Retezár told the good people at Live Science. “You always have a certain percentage of humidity in the air, it doesn’t matter where you are — even in the desert. That means you would always potentially be able to extract that humidity from the air.”
This would be something good to have if you’re in a desert or are hanging around Bear Grylls. Fontus works by using a solar-powered device. It uses something called a condensator that’s connected multiple hydrophobic surfaces that will repel water. As the Fontus takes moves, it takes in air and gathers condensation. Water!
“Because they’re hydrophobic, they immediately repel the condensed water that they created, so you get a drop flow [into the bottle],” he explained. “Basically, you’re taking air in a vapor state and converting it into a liquid state.”
The get into more specifics, let’s take a look at how it works according to the creator himself:
In order to achieve condensation, one must cool hot, humid air down. The device has a small cooler installed in its centre called Peltier Element. This cooler is divided in two: When powered by electricity, the upper side cools down and the bottom side gets hot. The more you cool the hot side down, the colder the upper side will get. Consequently, these two sides are separated and isolated from each other.
The air enters the bottom chamber at a high speed when moving forward with the bike and cools the hot side down. Moreover, when the air enters the upper chamber it is stopped by little walls perforated non-linearly, reducing its speed in order to give the air the needed time to lose its water molecules.
The condensing structure represents the largest surface in the smallest space possible. This provides a large surface for condensation to happen. Droplets then flow through a pipe into a bottle. The bottle can then be turned to a vertical position and losened. Every kind of PET 0,5l bottle fits.
You can read more about The Fontus over at the James Dyson Foundation website. Hopefully, this technology can be mass produced so that the places in the world without access fresh water could use one of these to amass loads of water without risking their lives and walking miles to get it.