Coating helps cotton soak mist water in bulk

Editors' Picks

  • Sacked Moyes thanks Ferguson for Man Utd opportunity

    Sacked Moyes thanks Ferguson for Man Utd opportunity

    Sacked Moyes thanks Ferguson for Man Utd opportunity

    Sacked Manchester United manager David Moyes thanked his predecessor Alex Ferguson on Wednesday for having given him the opportunity to lead the Premier League club. In a statement issued through the League Manager's Association (LMA), the Scot spoke of his pride at being chosen last July and acknowledged fans had a right to feel frustrated by results since then. "I remain proud to have led the team to the quarter-finals of this year's Champions League and I remain grateful to Sir Alex …

  • Scholes returns to help Man United interim manager Giggs

    Scholes returns to help Man United interim manager Giggs

    Scholes returns to help Man United interim manager Giggs

    Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes returned to the club's training ground on Wednesday to help caretaker manager Ryan Giggs prepare for this weekend's Premier League match at home to Norwich City. Giggs, with whom Scholes shared many title triumphs, was put in charge of the first team for the final four games of the season following the sacking of David Moyes on Tuesday. As well as Scholes, Giggs was also joined by Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, who was assistant coach under …

  • Rumour: Guillem Balagué claims Lionel Messi on Manchester United’s radar
  • Moyes axed by Man Utd after season of failure

    Moyes axed by Man Utd after season of failure

    Moyes axed by Man Utd after season of failure

    By Mitch Phillips LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United's succession planning for life after Alex Ferguson was left in tatters on Tuesday when manager David Moyes was sacked after 10 troubled months of failure and frustration at a club used to seamless success. Moyes, appointed with a six-year contract on the direction of retiring fellow-Scot Ferguson last July after 11 years at Everton, did not even get to complete his first season as the club's American owners, the Glazer family, ran out of …

  • United must move fast with vital window looming

    United must move fast with vital window looming

    United must move fast with vital window looming

    By Ed Osmond LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United must move quickly to appoint a new manager and give him maximum time to operate in what will be a critical transfer window for the club. A season of abject failure under David Moyes brought a swift end to the former Everton manager's reign at Old Trafford and United will have to act equally decisively to install the right man to try to revive their fortunes. Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal is the favourite and he has the necessary experience …

  • Man United act to halt slide as power shifts back to Liverpool

    Man United act to halt slide as power shifts back to Liverpool

    Man United act to halt slide as power shifts back to Liverpool

    By Keith Weir LONDON (Reuters) - The balance of power in English soccer has shifted from one famous U.S.-owned club to another, with Liverpool on course to win the league for the first time in 24 years while rivals Manchester United are in disarray and seeking a new manager. The Glazer family who own United showed their ruthless streak on Tuesday when they sacked manager David Moyes after less than one season in the job. Moyes inherited a Premier League-winning team from Alex Ferguson last …

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.

Most Popular Stories