Coating helps cotton soak mist water in bulk

Editors' Picks

  • Chelsea's title built on granite foundations

    Chelsea's title built on granite foundations

    Chelsea's title built on granite foundations

    By Mitch Phillips LONDON (Reuters) - While some of his rivals were spending millions on marquee defenders last summer Jose Mourinho was happy to sell David Luiz secure in the knowledge he had a back four that would be the bedrock of Chelsea's title push. With the Premier League trophy now back at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho's judgement has again proved spot on as John Terry, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta have been the most reliable defensive unit in the country. Marcos …

  • Defeats leave Burnley and QPR on brink, Man Utd lose

    Defeats leave Burnley and QPR on brink, Man Utd lose

    Defeats leave Burnley and QPR on brink, Man Utd lose

    By Tom Hayward LONDON (Reuters) - Burnley and Queens Park Rangers' Premier League survival hopes were left hanging by a thread after defeats and unfavourable results elsewhere left them rooted to the foot of the table on Saturday. Manchester United slipped to a third successive defeat, 1-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion, at the other end of the league and missed the chance to go second behind Chelsea who can lift the title on Sunday by beating Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge. Most …

  • Juventus bring out the best in rejuvenated Tevez

    Juventus bring out the best in rejuvenated Tevez

    Juventus bring out the best in rejuvenated Tevez

    Carlos Tevez arrived at Juventus with a reputation as a troublemaker who had fallen out of favour both at his former club Manchester City and the Argentine national side. Juve have tamed the wilder instincts of a player who was once sent off for Boca Juniors in his homeland after celebrating a goal against River Plate by flapping his arms to imitate a chicken. The 31-year-old scored 21 goals in his first season as Juventus won Serie A by a 17-point margin and has been instrumental in helping …

  • Louis van Gaal hopes Angel Di Maria will stay despite disappointing first season

    Louis van Gaal hopes Angel Di Maria will stay despite disappointing first season

    Louis van Gaal hopes Angel Di Maria will stay despite disappointing first season

    Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hopes Angel Di Maria will improve next season. He also blamed United's extended pre-season tour for their poor start to the season. …

  • Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira signs contract extension

    Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira signs contract extension

    Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira signs contract extension

    Andreas Pereira commits to Manchester United …

  • Pochettino ready to fight to keep top players at Spurs

    Pochettino ready to fight to keep top players at Spurs

    Pochettino ready to fight to keep top players at Spurs

    Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said he will fight to keep his best players in the close season amid reports that he could face a battle to hang on to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Lloris has been linked by British media with a switch to Manchester United as a potential replacement for David De Gea, who has been touted for a possible return to Spain with Real Madrid. Although Pochettino dismissed that idea as mere speculation, he said he was prepared to scrap to keep the spine of …

Amsterdam, Jan 23 (IANS) A revolutionary coating permits cotton to absorb roughly three-and-a-half times its own weight of water from misty air or fog.

The coated cotton releases the collected water by itself, as it gets warmer, making the material a potential solution to provide water to desert regions, especially for agricultural purposes.

Researchers from the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, applied a coating of PNIPAAm, a polymer, to the cotton fabric, the journal Advanced Materials reports.

At lower temperatures, this cotton has a sponge-like structure at microscopic level. Up to a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius it is highly hydrophilic; in other words, it absorbs water strongly, according to a Eindhoven and Hong Kong Polytechnic statement.

Through this property the cotton can absorb 340 percent of its own weight of water from misty air compared with only 18 percent minus PNIPAAm coating.

Conversely, once the temperature rises, the material becomes hydrophobic or water-repellant, and above 34 degrees Celsius, the cotton releases all the absorbed water, which is totally pure. The research shows that this cycle can be repeated many times.

Beetles in desert areas can collect and drink water from fogs, by capturing water droplets on their bodies, which roll into their mouths. Similarly, some spiders capture humidity on their silk network. This was the inspiration for this new coated-cotton material, which collects and releases water from misty environments simply as the temperature changes throughout the day.

This property implies that the material may potentially be suitable for providing water in deserts or mountain regions, where the air is often misty at night. According to Eindhoven researcher Catarina Esteves, a further advantage is that cotton fabric is cheap and can be easily and locally produced.

The polymer used is not particularly costly.