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A New Machine Can Draw Clean Drinking Water From Thin Air

This could have a huge impact in countries without clean water supplies.

You’ve heard the expression, something just “came out of thin air.” In this case, the something happens to be clean drinking water. An Israeli company called Water-Gen has created a machine that takes water vapor that has evaporated into the atmosphere and turns it into water we can drink.

The company makes three different sizes of the machine. The large model is industrial scale, and the medium model (shown below) can be easily transported, making it suitable for military applications, where Water-Gen initially directed its focus.

The smallest version (shown below) is named Genny, and is intended for use in the home. She’s a hard worker, too—as part of the purification process, Genny purifies the room’s air.

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Water-Gen

Without getting too technical (see the company’s website for a more detailed explanation), the Water-Gen machine basically pulls in ambient humidity in the air.

The condensation is then filtered through plastic “leaves,” and is turned into drinkable water.

“The target is to extract water from the air with minimum energy,” Water-Gen founder and CEO Arye Kohavi told Business Insider. “We think our solution can solve the problem on the level of countries. It’s an immediate solution—governments don’t need to spend decades to make a big project.”

In weather of 80 degrees and 60 percent humidity, Water-Gen’s machines can produce large quantities of clean water. The industrial machine could produce 825 gallons in one day under those conditions, while the medium-sized machine would yield 118 gallons per day, according to Business Insider. Meanwhile, homes and offices could get 4 gallons of fresh water using the smallest machine.

The obvious application here is for developing countries (and perhaps California) where there is a drastic water shortage. The company is doing field-testing of its products now, and hopes to make them commercially available by the end of 2017.

Here, Kohavi gives a demonstration of how it all works: