While energy issues tend to get a lot more media play, a perhaps even bigger challenge we'll need to collectively deal with soon is the problem of potable water. Israeli company EWA is hoping to help nations with less fresh water resources get it inexpensively by turning humidity in the air into drinkable fluids. EWA, which stands for Extraction of Water from Air, uses a heat-based absorption system and a special energy saving condenser to suck moisture from the atmosphere and into reservoirs cleanly and efficiently.
The technology works thusly: First, the desiccant, made of silica-based gel granules, absorbs the air's humidity using an exothermic (heat releasing) process. Then the water is drawn out of the gel and condensated. It's not the first water from air generator out there, but its heat recovery techniques have vastly reduced the cost for producing water with this method. The end product is cheaper to operate than other filtration systems, such as desalination.
According to EWA, one cubic kilometer of air contains about 10 to 40 thousand tons of water, enough for two million to not go thirsty. Considering that over half the world's population could be facing a water crisis by 2025, this kind of technology is definitely something we should keep an eye on. [Green Prophet]